Saturday, April 9, 2016

Working as a Team

From the first day of the March Madness Basketball Tournament on, there were major upsets, surprise come from behind games, and unexpected winners.  Several games ended with close scores while a few were won by a large spread of points.  The men’s final championship game, between the Villanova Wildcats and the North Carolina Tar Heels,  lived up to its expectations.  The score went back and forth, with the Wildcats being behind by 10 points towards the end of the game.  But at 4.7 seconds the game was tied.  On that play, Daniel Ochefu, of Villanova, had gone down on the play and the floor was wet from sweat.  Ochefu knew that the wet place on the floor was a spot that could be crucial for one of the last plays during regulation time.  He asked that the floor be mopped up.  The boy came from the sidelines to do it, but Daniel could see that he didn’t know exactly where to clean the floor.  Remembering his coach’s comment, “Be the best street sweeper you can be,” he took the mop from the boy and pushed it back and forth over the spot several times to make sure it was dry.

With 4.7 seconds to play, the ball was passed to Villanova’s Ryan Arcidiacono to take to the basket.  With players all around him, expecting him to be the one to shoot, Ryan heard Kris Jenkins scream to him that he was open.  Arcidiacono flipped the ball back to Jenkins, who got in position, shot the three-pointer, and scored.  Villanova took the game 77-74, its first National Championship in 31 years.

According to the Villanova players, teamwork is what their team is all about.  The Wildcats had four players that scored in double figures, as well as another three who added points.  There was not a single player who dominated the game.  Phil Booth said, “We trust each other.  We believe in each other.”

When interviewed after the game, Kris Jenkins stated, “I knew it was going in.  My teammates set me up perfectly.”  Eamonn Brennan, an ESPN staff writer summed the game up beautifully.  “Because that’s the way it works at Villanova.  One guy got to be the hero because two others decided they didn’t need to be the hero.  They could just be good street sweepers.”

And that’s the way it is in life.  We are better when we work together as a team, when everyone does their part.  Sometimes it’s our turn to sweep.  Other times we willingly give up our shining moment to allow someone else to have theirs.  And sometimes, we are the one who is entrusted with the task at hand.  Paul reminds us in I Corinthians 3 that there are times when one plants and another is chosen to water the seed.  But it is God who makes the plant grow.  Whatever there is to do, may we be available and willing. 
I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.
I Corinthians 3:6

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
I Corinthians 10:31

For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach;  if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Romans 12:4-8

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