I don’t want to live for the name on the back of a jersey. I want to play for the team on the front of the jersey. ~Myron Pierce
In a nutshell, we can tend to be myopic in our walk with the Lord. Like the disciples, we want to make an impact, to do what Jesus did…to sit at his right hand. Yet, that was not the purpose of Jesus ministry and they had not a clue what they were asking of him. They did not know the cost. The truth was when it came down to it…they scattered. They may have been together, converse together trying to figure out what Jesus was saying together and afraid to appear ignorant before the One who knew their prideful thoughts (wow), but they were each looking after his own self.
Peter isolated himself and denied Jesus three times. When just hours maybe minutes before doing so he was in the garden with Jesus and was hot-headed enough to cut off a soldier’s ear to defend Jesus. Interesting he has a weapon, but that’s another topic.
Track meets have many events. A teammate may sprint a 200 by himself, another throw a discus by herself, while four runners will run a relay together. However, when they train, they initially train together by exercising and running together (reading the word and ministering together) then they will break off to for specific exercises and skill set training for their particular heat. But, they are training together and encouraging, giving pointers to each other. Their goal is to finish first in their event and rack up as many points to be combined for the team. They are many parts, but ONE team.
Cross country is a lone event and is actually not considered part of track. This sport is a test of discipline and endurance. Many parts of the course require the runner to spur himself on. As in life, there are many parts of our journey or certain circumstances, such as when Corrie ten Boom was in isolation in prison at aconcentration camp, in which we may run long stretches of life…alone. This is why it is crucial for believers to be disciplined in thought, and know the Word, so that she may as David did encourage himself by strengthening (stirring) himself in the Lord his God (1 Samuel 30:6 ESV). More importantly, this is why there are people and coaches scattered at various points along the course to cheer the runner along. I imagine the coach is intentional in where he stands/goes so that he may shout out words of encouragement at the points where the runner will be the most fatigued and discouraged.
The point is, sometimes we focus on serving the Lord and how we look while doing so. This is self-focused and we lose sight of why or for whom we run. Team Jesus! He planted that seed of communion at the Last Supper and yet they disperse. He later, after being risen from the dead, instructed them to gather together in a specific room and wait. There they met the Holy Spirit and were joined as one through that Brand New experience. The joy felt and the bond created by something supernatural brought them in one accord. This spirit of unity enabled them toreach the multitude, meet needs, solve issue and learn and grow together, as one. Go, Team Jesus!
Michele Caldwell’s response to Myron’s question on a point made during Sunday’s Sermon – March 29, 2020