Your Place on the Team

Taking a spiritual look at events and issues of special interest to young people.

She felt bad when she didn't make the softball team. She had wanted to be part of a team -- to have the feeling of being included, of working together for a common goal.

Every one of us is needed. We're all on the most important team of all, God's team. Being on this team doesn't mean not being involved in activities like softball. Rather, being a player on His team opens up opportunities to be on other teams. Either we develop the abilities we need to be on that softball team, or we find new activities we're better suited for.

As God's expression, you are vital to Him. We each have talent. The individual way you express God is what makes you special. In finding your special way of expressing God's qualities, you will be sought out-people will realize they need you on their teams.

The Holy Bible talks of team playing. In the book of First Corinthians we read, "Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. . . . And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all" (12:4, 6). We express different gifts in different ways -- gifts such as a courageous spirit, a helpful nature, an understanding heart, and the ability to bring fairness and compromise to situations. In speaking of how we interact as God's workers, St. Paul used the analogy of the body and the importance of each part to the whole. He said, "And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you" (I Corinthians 12:21).

The particular position we hold in life is not as important as the way we "play" that position. As Paul said in the next chapter, we may have many talents and follow all the rules, but if we do not have charity (love for ourselves and others), things won't work well.

It is the effort to be truthful, loving, merciful, wise, principled -- the expression of God's qualities -- that brings success. And as we do this well, we are in the position to play good games of all kinds.

The actions of Jesus Christ show that any time one is expressing goodness, he or she is doing the work of God. God's nature is also shown in the Bible, in the lives of people like Abraham, Moses, Elijah, and Jesus' disciples. Each one filled a particular position. You have a place. It is known to God. The more you understand how God created you, the clearer your place in His plan will stand out.

A book that can help you find more of the special place you have is Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science. Another book she wrote makes this statement: "Each individual must fill his own niche in time and eternity" (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 70).

You sometimes hear people say things like "Someday when I have more time, I'm going to learn more about God." Or, "Sometime when I have kids, I'll probably start going to church." But it doesn't have to be a big deal to set aside a little time every day to become better acquainted with God. And it's really the way to find out about yourself. Sometimes it takes a while to become aware of the particular gifts you have. Still, no one lacks ways to be vital. Make no mistake about it, God never, ever rejects a single player on His team. In fact, it wouldn't be complete without you.

So, don't be discouraged if you didn't make the cut this time or don't the next time. The girl I mentioned earlier eventually became a part of the cheerleading team and even the captain. Later she got on a team of dancers. These things gave her opportunities suited to her own special enthusiasm, style, and love of expressive movement. She found her niche.

Again, even though it's important that you want to be part of all kinds of teams, the most important work is always to glorify God. When this is your reason for seeking to be a part of some team, a spot will open up. There is a place that only you can fill. God has seen to that.

We then, as workers together

with him, beseech you also

that ye receive not

the grace of God in vain.

II Corinthians 6:1

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