Another lovely post from that man of mine…
Lessons from the locker room.
Recently, the Men’s Hockey League I play with was able to bring home the cup for top division. This was remarkable considering that most of the teams we played against had younger and more talented players. Even more remarkable in that went into the playoffs under .500 and had been beaten by the other teams in the playoffs more than we had bested them. No one expected us to win. Neither did we.
How did it happen? Two things. The guys began to play a very tight disciplined defensive game that limited the other teams talented players. Second, they began to believe the system would work. The guys understood that one on one, they couldn’t beat the opposing player in front of them. However their belief changed. They realized, by understanding their role, and working together, as a team they could win.
Jesus talks about a similar situation in Matthew chapter 8:5-13. A Roman soldier (Gentile) comes to Jesus with a request, his young servant is paralyzed and in terrible pain. (8:6). Jesus responds that he will come and heal him. Then the Roman soldier says something that seams to catch even our Lord by surprise. The officer explains to Jesus that their is no need to travel to his house, he can just say the word and the soldier knows his servant will be healed. The man explains that he is under authority and has authority over others, and so he understands that the Lord has the same authority. Jesus responds by stating that he has not seen such faith in all of Israel, and continues on by saying Gentiles like this will sit down with the great fathers of the faith in heaven. Our Lord (and the soldier) then says “Go back home. Because you have believed, it has happened.”
Two things stand out in this account from my perspective. First, the soldier understood his role. He was under authority of his Lord. There was no need for the Lord to prove his power, just say the word. Second, by believing, the officer somehow changed the outcome potential, something changed. He tapped into a power that was always there but he somehow missed.
Draw this into the hockey account from earlier. Just like the officer, the guys on the team tapped into a greater power by understanding their role and their function within it. They (and we) don’t have to be Saint Peter, we don’t even have to be the pastor, or really anything special. But, by doing what the Lord has placed in front us, within the limits of what he has given us influence over. By functioning this way we can somehow with our team mates (the church) achieve what seems impossible. Are you frustrated with something that is going on within your team? Has the Lord placed you in role to have direct authority over that situation? If not, resist the temptation to do anything other than pray. To do so, will leave the back door open and it wont take long for the opposing team to notice and then pretty soon the whole system breaks down.
Second, by believing you tap into a greater power. The soldier, by just believing was able to experience God’s supernatural power for his home. “Because you believed, it happened.” Matthew 8:13. On the team, the players did not get much better in the playoffs, we played better as a team. But at the core, the real change was in our belief in what was possible. Over time, we began to believe that the impossible was truly possible. That change, deep inside our team, pushed us to give more than we had, with a belief that it would result in something greater that we ever thought. The same is true in our lives. Time and time again the Lord reminds us that the seed of belief can move mountains. (Matthew 17:20) We do not have to move the mountain. Just believe, truly believe in our core, that our Lord can and will do it.
How would your and my life be different if we functioned within our role and understood the power of just belief? I think the results might be a lot more significant than a league trophy.