Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3
Ok…let’s be honest. I am not a huge fan of sports. It all started on the playground when I was always, and I do mean always, the last kid picked. I discovered I had zero kickball skills. Later, about 4th grade, my Momma (and I guess Daddy) signed me up for little league baseball. It was there and then I discovered that the problem wasn’t just kickball, it was anything to doing with a ball…or anything else that might be called a sport. Fortunately, for me my junior high and high schools were massive so unlike some schools where if you didn’t play sports everyone noticed…for me I just blended in with the masses. There was the yearbook thing but who reads that anyway?
When my kids came along God was merciful and gave me three daughters…and while one cheered and one played a little basketball that was the extent of our involvement with sports. If they had been boys and more sports minded, well, I’m not sure what I could have taught them. I do enjoy watching sports…especially college football. I am a fan of Notre Dame which is kinda odd given the fact that I am a Baptist preacher, and they are a Catholic School. But I love the tradition and I love it when they win which this year, well, they are struggling a little.
I wrote all of that to say this—today I went to my third baseball game in like five days. There are a couple of reasons—the first one is a no brainer—my oldest grandson is a sports player and he loves baseball. He was playing so I made it a point to go. The second one is similar but different. Our Middle School team was finishing up their season and today they played their first playoff game. Nine of these young players are tied to our church and I went as their pastor and friend. Today they won 16 to 1. That probably tells you something.
These young men have been playing together for years. Starting in their elementary years through now they grew together—as friends—as a team. A chunk of the team are eighth graders and frankly—this is their year. So here is the impossibly incredible part. As of today, they are 24 and 0. That’s right, they have won twenty-four straight games and all you have to do is watch them to see that is not an accident. It is a product of relationship, skills, and team mentality. Let me tell you a little more.
When I got to the game today, I noticed that on the back of their jerseys it said, WE ME. So, imagine in large letters the word WE and beneath that is a line and then under the line is the word ME. Well, not being the sharpest tack in the pack, I asked someone what it meant. They said, now wait for it, it’s gonna be good, “You know we is more important than me. We comes before me.” Well, let me just tell you that was a wow moment for me. I don’t know who came up with that but they should get some kind of award. WE over ME. Love it.
Like I said there is a reason why these guys are where they are, but a piece of the puzzle is that team comes before the individual…you come before me. It isn’t about one person…it is about every person. Someone said that there is no “I” in “team” and that is so true. Now, imagine if the “we before me” thing was applied to our part of our world. Marriage? Family? Church? Job? Club? If your mind is whirling with the possibilities—you got it.
Paul, the one in the Bible, had a version of this too. He wrote in Philippians 2:3, “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.” Boom…there you go. We over me just works every time. Of course, we Jesus people could also, should also say, “HE over ME” with Jesus being the “He.” Yup that works too.
Well, I am very proud of our Middle School baseball team. Way to go guys. They have a few more playoff games coming but hey, I’m thinking State. Regardless…they are all winners, and I am thankful for them and the men who coach and lead them. I’m not sure if God picks sides in sports but He might and He would say, “Don’t worry…I’ve got this.” Bro. Dewayne