Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Parable of the Sideline


I wanted to rerun a message that was lost in the blog shuffle, but is still an important message.

I have been privileged to play a lot of team sports in my life -- soccer, football, softball, track and field -- to name a few. In each of these sports, there was always some significant effort involved in order to excel. In relationship to some of my sporting ventures, I had more natural with soccer. Yet, with some of the other sports, I may have worked hard at times, but not as hard as I could have worked, perhaps. I remember being upset with a coach one time, because I was "sitting on the sideline" a lot, but I wanted to be playing. Yet, I wasn't really willing to put forth the effort in order to be able "to get on the playing field." Instead of finding some inner strength of will or spirit in order to excel, I allowed myself to develop a poor attitude. Such is life took me some time to be able to look in the mirror and realize that it wasn't life that was being unfair, but that I finally had to come to terms with the fact that, I had met the enemy...and it was me. This was pretty humbling realization...but, it was, nonetheless, a good understanding.

I believe that we live in a society where individuals experience the feeling of entitlement, perhaps more than at any other time in history. It affects people in their work, at church and in other social environments. I really do not think the solution to this is any harder than what I had to discover...the reason that I was sitting on the sideline -- I needed to look in the mirror. Things are generally not going to be handed to us, unless it is a unique situation. We need to be willing to work, serve, do whatever is necessary to make our mark. I have known people on the sideline in my life, and like myself, they have exercised one of three different attitudes. One, they are not content to be on the sideline -- no matter what -- and are going to work hard or serve selflessly in order to get involved and be involved. Others are not able to get off the sideline, because they just gripe and complain rather than jump in and try to make a difference. The third group may be the most mature -- these individuals may work hard and do their best, but are not necessarily ever going to get on the playing field, but they continue to be a good support for others on the sideline, as well as to those who are starting. These people are invaluable, because they know their place...they understand the meaning of "team"...and while they do not cease to work hard, they can see the big picture. This picture is to be the best that they can be...and if they are ever called upon to get in the game, they are ready to go.

Here is to hoping that we can have more people to set an example...where people can take a good look at the big picture and prepare themselves to be the best that they can be at whatever it is that they aspire to be or become. And that these people, regardless of whether they are ever going to be able to get in the game or not, are going to be helpful and be a blessing. And one other thing...we are likely going to get on the playing field at some point if we are willing to work hard or serve selflessly. As with so many other things in life, whether we are on the sideline or on the playing field is very much a matter of perspective and attitude.


No comments: