Monday – A Strong Team

By George Volpe

”And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12

When the show “Survivor” first appeared on television, I watched it for a while. The idea was to win the challenges such as tests of skill and endurance so that at the end there was only one person left who would be crowned the winning “survivor.” Generally, the tests were team challenges. The teams that figured out how to work well together usually finished the challenges first. The teams that could not agree amongst themselves and pulled in different directions usually failed.

The same is true for families, communities, businesses, and nations. When everyone is pulling in the same direction, things are much more likely to get accomplished. Even when there is opposition, the group that stays focused and persistent is far more likely to make progress, despite the stumbling blocks thrown in their way.

We see this principle clearly in team sports. The teams try to out-duel each other. But someone wins, and someone loses. When I lived in Buffalo, I watched the Bills NFL team go down by 32 points against the (then) Houston Oilers. That’s more than four touchdowns. A Houston radio announcer was immortalized on NFL Films with the statement "The lights are on here at Rich Stadium…(but) you could pretty much turn them out on the Bills right now."

Assuming the worst, a flood of people in the stadium headed for the exits. It would take an extraordinary effort to get back into that game. But it was as if 11 men suddenly became one in heart and mind. With their star quarterback out, and in spite of the odds, they would not be denied. They turned the tide and started to score. Those who had left tried to get back into the stadium. The Bills won that game in overtime, 38-35, and that record still stands as the NFL comeback game of all time.

Focus. Teamwork. Persistence. All are important attributes especially when the task ahead seems almost out of reach. As Nehemiah heard the reports of the broken-down walls of Jerusalem it brought him to his knees in prayer. But God used his desire to secure the city as motivation to rebuild. And God paved the way for Nehemiah to leave his post, to obtain resources, a willing team of workers, and protection from wicked men who sought to keep Jerusalem open to invaders. Once again God used a man with a prepared heart.

Opposition in our world is all around us. We need to support each other as one team especially in times like these.

Bible Reading Plan - Day 1

Acts 22:22-23:35

Ps 78:11–26

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