Sunday, January 6, 2008

Inspiration in adversity

In case you missed the last post, the Redskins didn't make it past the wild-card game in the playoffs. But, even through the loss, there's something to be found. Consider the article on the Redskins web site, here. Some excerpts from the article:
"Gibbs learned to respond to the adversity the only way he knows how: through his faith in God."
This, in case you didn't know, is a keystone of Joe Gibbs, his faith in God. (Consider the book, Racing to Win, by Gibbs; it's inspirational and definitely worth reading.) And he's not ashamed of it.

But back to the "inspiration in adversity" part of the post; consider the last part of the article on the 'skins site, some words from Joe Gibbs:

"You have to realize that in team sports, it is kind of rare all of a sudden a team gets that feeling [truly becomes a team]," Gibbs said. "I think this team has that. I think in my experience as a head coach, there have been 4-5 teams that really grabbed that. This team has it.

"What happens with a team like that is that they quit worrying about their roles. We have guys on the team who could be highly upset. Reche Caldwell wants to catch more balls. Rock [Cartwright] wants to run from the line of scrimmage.

"But what they do is they say, 'Whatever the coaches want me to do, I'm going to do it. I'll go as hard as I can.' That's hard for most people. As individuals, we grow up thinking me, me me. I'm the worst. You're focused on yourself.

"To be able to put yourself and your goals to one side and concentrate on the team--this team has that and it's hard to get. I'll never forget the other teams that had that.

"And I'll never forget this one."

This is where the inspiration comes; this is, believe it or not, kind of a picture of "God's team" - of Christians. We're all part of the same team, we all have our roles to play (consider the passage 1 Corinthians 12). Sometimes we have to just do the things that need doing, the things that we're good at, the things that God has gifted us to do. Take, for instance, Rock Cartwright - he's a very, very good kick returner. He is a good running back, true, but his current role with the Redskins is primarily kick returner, and he does a great job at that role. If he was concerned about his lack of utilization as a running back (roles filled, at the moment, by Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts), then his attitude would suffer, and likely his usefulness, his effectiveness as a kick returner would be impacted.

Sometimes we have to simply fill the role we're currently asked to fill. And when we are, we need to do it without complaining, without getting upset about what we're asked to do; otherwise our performance will suffer and our team won't be able to accomplish as much as we otherwise could. It may be that the position will remain the same for as long as we're left here to take part in the team's activities; it may be that our role will change sometime in the future. But, when we have a role to play, we should do our best to fulfill that role and, at the same time, "cheer on" (encourage) those filling other roles. (Believe it or not, this also applies to "regular life" as well - in your job, in your family, in your school, wherever you are, do what you're called to do, do it well, and do it without complaining; of course, "regular life" really doesn't exist for a Christian - there is no separation of our "Christian life" and our "regular life" - it's all the same, and trying to make a distinction between the two is a mistake that needs to be addressed.)

So, there you go... inspiration in adversity, finding something in a loss. Turning a lesson from sports into a lesson for life.


Anonymous said...

I agree and wanted to add that God tells us that if we can be trusted with the little things then later on He will entrust us with bigger things. I need to use the Scripture instead of just paraphrasing it, so here goes: Matthew 25:23 (the parable of the talents) "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'" I think that God tests our faithfullness to Him by asking us to do what we consider "small stuff" before He asks us to do the "big stuff". Forgive me if I am redundant. Christy

Tony M said...

Yep, be faithful in the little things, and He'll just keep piling on more and more, and sooner or later you're buried under huge mountains of faith-filled tasks...

Kidding. Not really sure where that came from, but that's not the way of it - when you do get to the point of having those larger and larger tasks, your faith will be right there to match, having been exercised all along the way, and it'll be a joy to be able to be part of such a miraculous thing that's going on around you. That happiness thing - that's the way of it.

And I forgive you for redundantly repeating yourself all over again. :)