After this year’s NBA Finals series was over the San Antonio Spurs basketball team was officially crowned Champions. As a huge fan of sports I have seen many champions crowned over the years, but I don’t know if I have ever seen a team display such unselfishness (and class). I don’t know that I have ever seen a team so locked in on the plan and vision of the Coach. I think the whole world of sports froze for a moment in time and appreciated what a team can accomplish when they lay aside their ego and desire to be the hero.
After reading the following quote from Manu Ginobili it really struck a chord within me and I began to think about my role in the family of God, in the history of mankind, in my workplace, and in my home.
“The ball movement was really good so we didn’t have to depend on anyone.” -Manu Ginobili
In essence what he was saying is that the game plan the coach gave them was so good that they didn’t have to rely on one person to carry the team alone. Knowing their roles, they simply executed the flawless game plan.
Unselfishness usually leads to victory. You don’t have to try to be THE hero. Just play your role. Be precise in your role. Yes, be excellent in your role. But, you don’t have to put it all on your back. Trust the system “The Coach” has in place. Remember what he taught you from day one and what he taught you when no one was watching. Recall what you learned in training on the back side of a sheep field. He knows what’s best. You may have to endure some sore muscles as the training intensifies. You may even have a few scars to show for that time you got knocked down. There are usually some sacrifices you have to make along the way.
Here’s what we have to remember though; We don’t need the spotlight to win the game. We don’t need the glory for the sake of looking good or getting paid. It doesn’t matter if our hair is perfect during the game. It doesn’t matter what people on the outside say about us. In the case of the Spurs, many said they were too old or washed up to hang with the young bucks. Who cares if they don’t think we have what it takes. Once it’s over we will be a champion because we trusted our leader.
As Christians, what I think we may not realize sometimes is that we are already champions before the season begins. The winning formula has already been proven. It’s flawless. We simply play our role. It isn’t about our perfection though. Players make mistakes and sometimes veer from the coaches instructions…they may trip and fall, or turn the ball over. But the coach just asks that you get up again and sprint back into position. His plan has already allowed for your mistakes to occur during the game. That’s why his plan is perfect.
You may say, wouldn’t being a part of that type of team cause people to just relax, take it easy, not train, not do the little things, to oversleep before the games, etc. I would say absolutely not. When you realize that you are a part of a championship caliber team with the winning formula, you will not desire to be the one who bails out, quits, or loafs it and tries to get away with it. When you know you are a champion you never want to loaf. You want to fulfill your role on the team and be a part of the championship. Knowing you are on the team just makes you want to be the best role player you can be.
As followers of Christ Jesus, we have the greatest Coach in the history of the world. We’ve won before tip off. It’s time to stop focusing on failure, perfection, fear, the opponent, being the hero, etc. Just stick to the plan. The Author of the plan knows what to do. It may not make any sense to us during the process and we may get really frustrated, but we can trust the Coach. Let’s set our eyes upon Jesus.