Friday, October 1, 2010

The Ultimate Teamwork

For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Romans 12: 3-5

Today’s Reading: Psalms 84-86; Romans 12

When I was younger I had visions of changing the world.

Even as a child I sensed that there were so many things wrong. As I grew up and learned more about what was happening around me I realized that I had a very privileged childhood. I had parents who loved me and friends who cared for me. I was getting a good, private education in a city with a  public school system that was one of the worst in the nation. I was healthy and I never once wondered where my next meal would come from.

So many people don’t have it so good and I wanted to change that. When I got to college and studied abroad in Brazil I saw that the problem was way bigger than I ever imagined it.

This really troubled me. How was I supposed to fix everything that was wrong in the world? I spent many sleepless nights trying to figure it out.

How foolish was that!?

Ok… foolish may be the wrong word but there is something very arrogant about it. Taking on that burden presupposed that I could possibly be equal to the task. I know now how absurd that is.

No one person can change the world. But there is something that each and every one of us can do. We can do our part. And if we all do our part we can work as a team to change the world.

That’s what I get from the passage above. For some of us, doing our part is going to school and studying so that we have the best chance possible to make a difference in the future. For others it is smiling at the strangers we encounter in life. Perhaps it is that smile that sparks a stranger to do something that really makes a difference. Or perhaps you are that stranger. Perhaps you are the one who has the silver bullet that will tackle one of the major problems of our time.

But regardless of your role, no one is better than anyone else. Every single task is important. Every person is valuable. Sure, if we don’t step up to our specific task then maybe someone else will do it, but that creates a burden that is too heavy for another to carry.

We are each built for our own purpose, not to fulfill our own and the next man’s.

If there is one thing that you remember long after you read these words I want it to be this.  We must all do our part. Whenever you get that feeling inside or that little voice tells you to do the unthinkably loving action that you never would do on your own, do it. When you feel the burning fire of an unrealized dream burning deep within your soul, do it. If you see a stranger on the street and feel moved to smile and say hello, do it.

It is in these moments of spontaneous love that our purpose manifest right before our eyes.

Seize the day! Do it now before the sun sets.

And for everything that is out of your control, don’t worry about it. You can only do what you can do. Leave the rest up to someone else on the team. 


  1. You probably know the starfish story...the two friends walking on a beach...a storm had washed thousands of starfish ashore and stranded them. One person starts picking them up and throwing them back in, one by one. The other chides him...what are you doing? There are thousands! Your efforts aren't going to make a difference. As the friend threw one back into the sea, he makes a difference to that one.
    Make a list of the starfish you have thrown back. I'll bet there are quite a few. xoxoxo

  2. @Paula I haven't heard that story in a long time. Thank you for always providing such encouraging words! :)


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