The following is a guest post from LifewithLisaE.com.
We watch a lot of sports in my house. I had brothers growing up and I was a cheerleader. Screaming and yelling on behalf of my team seems to be a part of my DNA, skirt or no skirt. Having grown up in Chicago, I am a home-team girl who will cheer for any Chicago team on the television.
However, during my pre-teen and teen years, watching the NBA playoffs was very frustrating even though we got to watch Michael Jordan progress into one of the greatest players to play basketball. Why? Because just about every time we got to the playoffs, we faced the…ahem…Detroit Pistons. (Insert booing.) And for a while, our season ended when we faced them.
Currently, the NBA and its fans and media are salivating over Stephen (Steph) Curry and he’s being compared to Michael Jordan. Also, the media is questioning what can be done to stop him. A media personality brought up how NBA teams in the Jordan era came up with Jordan’s Rules. The rules basically added up to stopping Michael Jordan by any means necessary. And usually there were some hard fouls involved.
The strategy of playing against one man and not the team is a dangerous one. Why? Because If a team is solid and has a deep enough bench, they can still get the win, even with the star being limited which Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors have demonstrated. And think about it, if all the defensive effort goes in one direction, the rest of the team gets a chance to develop.
The Bulls were already pretty good defensively. But during these scrap sessions with teams determined to stop Michael Jordan, the perimeter shooters got better. The centers got better. And eventually, the TEAM became unstoppable. And Jordan? He developed into the clutch leader they needed. He is well known for playing while hurt, sick and what seemed at times nearly dead. The result? Six championships. Michael was the star, but true success came when they all determined that he couldn’t get it done alone.
Neither can you.
Basketball is well-known as a team sport. What many hesitate to admit is that life is best lived in a team as well. We all have something we can learn from a coach and skills we can develop as part of a team. The lesson: we can’t be so concerned with occupying center stage that we miss the opportunity to learn how to “pass the ball.”
What does that accomplish?
It teaches humility. It underscores the willingness to offer an assist to help someone else get their stats up. It also keeps you aware of the others in the game. Sometimes our circumstances want to suggest that life is more like solitaire and we’re in it alone, having to start over again when the cards don’t fall in our favor. I’ve gone down the solitaire path. Ask me, I would much rather play on a team!
Think about it – opposition exists to take you out of your ‘game’ every day. There are lessons in the fights and failures that happen along the way. However, you and your team are meant to function like the Bulls of the 90’s. They learned how to win by gathering around their star. They began to protect him and developed their own skills – physically, mentally and emotionally. And, they stopped playing into the antics of the opposition.
And the star? He maintained his cool and simply executed, even in adversity.
What is God requiring of you as the star of your team? Do you have the right team? Do you allow the battles to get into your head, or do you just play your game, no matter what?
Our best example: Jesus. He never defended himself against the subtle accusations or the blatant ones. He continued to lead His team of disciples into victory.
What’s your team’s record? Take a moment and check your squad. Decide if you need to make substitutions, or just strategize and practice so you can step your game up.
Lisa E. Williams’ past was filled with unhealthy and broken relationships that brought her to ground zero emotionally. God met her there and during her journey from that place, He laid the foundation for the heart-wholeness she now enjoys. Today, her desire is to see other women recover from heartache, learn the lessons of their experiences, and reap the rewards of healthy, prosperous relationships in every area. If you would like to learn more, connect with Lisa at www.LifewithLisaE.com.