The children will be like olive shoots around your table. Psalm 128:3
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Olympic-Sized Conversations for You and Your Children
1. Teamwork and Community
"If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if His love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care—
then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be
deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t
sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get
ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget
yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand." -Philippians 2:1-4
We are living in a society and time where the individual is so highly valued. We love to figure out how we can do things on our own without hiring someone, placing a burden on someone, or spending too much time and money. But let's be honest... no DIY (Do-It-Yourself) project comes without step-by-by instructions from those who have gone before us and figured out just how to make the perfect wreath, design the most creative bedroom space, update the kitchen nook, change out the car part or antique the piece of furniture. To do it ourselves, we must have a blog, a book, an example or a set of instructions. In all honesty, we are just part of a large community putting our big boy and big girl pants on to accomplish tasks set before us.We are deceived to believe that we can be with people without being with people. We can be in someone's living room or at their dinner table without actually sitting on their couch or eating their food. We can take a workout class with an instructor who we will never meet. We can play video games with someone in Czechoslovakia but never know their face or their voice. While all of that is fascinating, there is nothing like being able to reach out and touch someone or see them face to face. And that is why I love the Olympics... the masses come together, face to face, to compete, to cheer, to observe and to celebrate the accomplishment of the cream of the crop around the world.
Prior to the 2012 Olympic Games in London, I let my husband know that I would be watching the opening ceremonies. He heard me, he listened, he sat down for a "light viewing" of the opening ceremonies to find his wife completely invested. When we visited his parents later that week, he let them know in a shocked tone of voice that I watched the opening ceremonies in it's ENTIRETY and was fully captured by the event. Ok, I confess! I truly love it! I rejoice at the sight of the nations coming together. All tribes and tongues come for competition, but they recognize the honor to be a part of a TEAM. They come representing their country, the people, the history and the values. On a side note, I anxiously await the day when every tribe and tongue comes together to confess that Jesus is Lord. Now you see, during the Olympic Games this month, we will view individual competitions, couple competitions, team competitions. Some will win medals as individuals, others will win medals as a team. However, when the games are over and the athletes board planes to return home in victory, the medal count that interests most is the medal count for each country! How many bronze, silver and gold medals did WE win?
Our personal relationship with Christ is of utmost importance. Without it, we cannot be part of God's family. With it, the world opens up and a community is made available to us. What does it mean for you and your family to play on God's team? Has being in a community of believers changed you? How can you impress upon your children the importance of "playing together" to "go for the gold." God never intended for Christianity to be an individual, solo sport. As His Word says in Philippians, community of the Spirit should cause us to care, to love, to agree, to put others first, and to lend a leaning hand. It's not about an individual gold medal. It is about walking the streets of gold with those who have journeyed with you and Jesus. It is about the present Kingdom of God, made possible by Christ's coming, His death and His resurrection. We are competing for an eternal prize with a team that will last forever. Our muscles will not deteriorate, in fact they will grow stronger. Our bones will not break, because His spirit is powerful. We will not lose the ability to compete, we will add to our team and to our gain.