Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” Psalm 133:1
Well, it happened again. Last fall I bumped into an incredible group of young men…our Middle School Baseball team. These guys had played ball together for more than a few years and had developed into a baseball force to be reckoned with. Well, apparently no one could reckon with them because they finished the season totally undefeated and as state champions. It was a thrill to watch and experience. Their mantra was printed on the back of their uniforms for all to see and note. It was two words and a single line. Printed vertically, on top was the word “we” followed by a line and then one more word, the word “me.” It translated “we over me.” They had chosen to not be a bunch of individuals but one team. Team mattered before any individual player. That is how you win championships.
Well, indeed, it did happen again. This time there was not a ball of any kind in sight…in fact, it had nothing to do with sports, per se. And, no, there wasn’t a uniform or a shirt that said, “we over me” but regardless the truth was there as plain as the nose on your face. What was, “it?” It was our high school’s production of Mary Poppins and while it was their production it was bigger than any one school or age group. First, you need to know that our city is a small one and our school system is small compared to many. But what I just witnessed was amazing. If there were state championships for the performing arts…well these students of all ages knocked it out of the park.
This was no small production—the cast probably numbered somewhere around fifty-five…plus a few more. I’m not sure how many band members were in the pit, but I can tell you though unseen they were not unheard. And then there were more hands and feet behind the scenes moving props, helping people fly (yes, I do mean fly) but wait, we are not done yet. Those props, the incredible costumes, and a zillion other things just didn’t happen…it took a pretty large village to raise this production from dream to reality.
The bottom line is for two and a half hours I sat, fully engaged and amazed, as every single actor and actress, every single band member, every single person behind the scenes gave their all—and then some. Two things were very obvious. First, the quality of the production. Small town or not, smaller school or not, the quality was amazing, and I know that never comes cheap. I just wonder how many hours were spent memorizing, practicing, and preparing? Like I said, “amazing.”
The second thing that was obvious was this wasn’t about a person or even a few people—it was about, team. This was all about “we over me.” I watched as this mass in force came together and put self aside for the good of the production…the whole cast. Just like with the baseball team, it would have been easy for some to demand the spotlight, but no one did. It was a sight to behold and the arts department and all those who had a part deserved a “state championship” trophy. Way to go, team. Way to go.
When the last song was sung and the last bow taken, I knew I wanted to write about this. Not only because they deserve it…and they surely do…but also because there is a very important lesson for all of us. That lesson? What do you suppose we could do as a group of people, as a church, as a community, as a nation if we could just lay aside our issues and decide to come together. D.L. Moody was a pastor/teacher from decades ago and he posed the thought, “The world has yet to see what God could do with one man or woman totally surrendered to Him.” He went on to say, “I want to be that man.”
What could God do with a people that said yes to Him, who put aside the spotlight to stand in His light? What could happen in the places we live if we decided one thing mattered…Him. Not one denomination but rather a radical faith in one God. It was what our country was founded on and if it worked then…well, it just might work now. One of the guys who wrote in the Book of Psalms in the Jewish and Christian Bible said, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” Translated today it just might say, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when we practice—we believe, “we over me.”
So, congratulations to an outstanding group of students and their parents and leaders. You not only did a great job but perhaps the greatest thing you did was show what can happen when a group of people come together for the good of others. It’s no easy task but it is not impossible…it just needs a little help from someone bigger than us…and He’s got this. Bro. Dewayne