By Carl Miller
"Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it." -Mark 8:34-35 (NIV)
We were having an intersquad scrimmage and I was standing among a group of athletes, waiting to find out which team I would be on. I was sure that I would be placed on the team with the best athletes in the school, who were also my best friends. But instead, I was chosen to join a team that was considered to be the underdogs. In my anger and disgust, I told the coach that I was going to quit and began walking off of the field.
To my surprise, the coach let me go. I had been so sure that he would try to stop me, but he didn’t. As I continued walking away slowly, I started thinking, What am I going to tell my parents? And what are my friends going to think of me?
Suddenly, I came to my senses, went back and joined the team. Guess what? Our team won the scrimmage, and I apologized to the coach for not trusting that he knew what he was doing.
We must always remember to look at the big picture. It’s not about us, and it’s not about what we want. Being on God’s team means denying what we want and following Him. He strategically places us in situations in life in which we can make the greatest impact, even if this sometimes means being separated from things that we want and the people who are most familiar to us.
Remember, you have been created to make a difference, and your team’s ability to win may just possibly lie within you.
1. What traits do you bring to your team that will make a difference?
2. Can you think of a time that you thought would be the worst experience of your life but turned out to be one of the best?
3. How willing are you to give up your rights and desires for the sake of your team?
Mark 10:29-30; John 15:16; 1 Corinthians 1:27-29
God, help me to deny my own selfish desires, even when I am placed in situations that are not comfortable for me. I want to bring You honor in all that I do. Help me to look past what I want so that I can use the talent that You have given me to make a difference for the team on which I have been placed. Amen.