Teamwork and the divine Ego

“What would you do if your team had a bunch of big egos?” That question came up in my Christian Science Sunday School class one week, and it reminded me of spiritual lessons I learned during my days of playing school sports. I had to deal with that problem my senior year of high school, and for me the answer was to get an egocentric sense of myself out of the way and to be grateful for the good qualities I could see in my teammates.

I was one of only two seniors on my team, and we were chosen by the coaches and the team to be captains. All of us had played together for almost five years on a very successful travel team. I was looking forward to another successful season, but in one preseason tournament our team seemed to fall apart. Several of the players began to turn on each other, which took the whole team down, and we didn’t even qualify for the semifinals in a tournament we regularly won. I went home and thought, “I’m not much of a team captain if I can’t even get our best players to focus.” 

My mom had been to every game and many practices. She knew every girl on that team, so I asked her what she would do. She said, “You need to get self out of the picture.” I told her that was easier said than done. There was constant rivalry among some of the team members who were letting self get in the way, and each thought they were the greatest. But Mom repeated: “You need to get self out of the way—and that means you, too. Jesus told his disciples that if any want to be first, the same will be last and the servant of all (see Mark 9:35). Are you ready to be last?”

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What does God ‘require’ of me?
February 19, 2018

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