Church is a team sport. Some things just don’t work well solo.
We have some friends whose son recently finished high school and the next week joined the Marines. It was a pretty abrupt transition. There’s a discipline in the military you don’t pick up much in English class. Or even Algebra. Some of it involves keeping your quarters clean and your buzz cut trimmed. But there are character issues, too.
One morning, early in their training the drill sergeant barked them into formation, got a few inches from the face of each recruit in turn and began in full voice to teach them a new language. Oh, it was still English, but it had some new rules. “From now on,” he insisted, “you do not use words like ‘I’ or ‘me’ or ‘mine.’ From now on, it’s ‘us’ and ‘we’ and ‘our.’ Do I make myself perfectly clear?” Unless you really enjoy peeling potatoes it was important that you had been listening.
The story line from “Band of Brothers” had probably seared itself into the consciousness of every Grunt in the unit, and they understood. In the grand slam event that was their final assignment before they could call themselves Marines, they spent 33 hours with almost no sleep, slogging through unforgiving terrain, live ammunition whistling overhead, fighting a fatigue they had never known. If a buddy faltered you grabbed him and dragged him if necessary. No one left behind. No I, me, or mine; it was us, we, and ours.
I learned something about church as my friend told me his story: Some things just don’t work well solo.
- Accountability is a given. We need each other. None of us is going anywhere unless all of us do. If you don’t show up it leaves a hole. If you are wounded the rest of us will notice and we will not leave you alone. Even at our own personal risk we will do whatever it takes to get you home. We’re not whole unless we’re together.
- We are absolutely clear and committed to our assignment. We will not be distracted or complain because the task is a tough one. Our Commander has promised that this is the winning side, and even though the script doesn’t always read as we would have written it, we trust Him when He says He will get us to the outcome He promised.
- We don’t all look alike, but that’s ok. Sameness is boring. Our Leader has a purpose in our variety; He assigns the very differences that make us strong as an army with banners. All of us are stronger than any of us. Some things just don’t work well solo. The Captain knows that.
By Don Jacobsen
Can you think of some other parallels? Send them to me using the contact form on the home page.