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8th Grade basketball.  I remember the game.  Two plays stood out as vital to our survival.  First, our star player had the ball on a breakaway.  I was in front of him, so an easy pass would have solved the problem, but he insisted on taking it in himself.  I didn’t mind that.  What was interesting was watching me trying to get out of his way.  John dribbled to his right at the same time I turned to my right to avoid him.  We simultaneously switched to the left.  Then, back to the right.  It had to have been like watching synchronized swimmers in hand-me-down jerseys that were far too big.  I finally just stopped and made him run around me for the lay-up. 

Later, we were down by 2 with only seconds left.  Having carefully avoided our scoring machine, I found myself high in the air (yea, this was years ago) grabbing the miss of his game-tying shot.  I tried to shoot, but someone decided that my arm would make a great life preserver and grabbed ahold.  

It was just me and the foul line.  2 shots.  I went through my usual 7 dribbles and a deep breath.  God must have guided it in because I don’t remember looking.  Swish.  Can this miracle happen twice?  Swish. 

Overtime.  We lost.  But the memories remain.

Since God has designed each of us to play a specific role in the body, flexibility on all parts is essential.  I knew that my job was not to be the main scorer for my team, but I had to be ready for when the time came.  That’s why I practiced free throws every day in preparation for that very moment.

In that game, I had two jobs.  Work with and assist those who had better skills than me in certain areas, and secondly, fill my role to the best of my abilities when called upon.  

This is part of God’s call to action.  Flexibility in following the Lord is a must.  He asks us to work together in an understanding that each one of us has a very special task that He has called us to perform.  There are many things I cannot do.  There are some I do well because that is how God has gifted me.    

Sometimes, we don’t fully understand how God works in those around us, but that’s God’s business and not ours.  We simply adjust, and continue to work together as a part of His family. 

All of this can be more clearly understood with a careful reading of 1 Corinthians 12.  God is working with each of us individually and collectively as His body.  The body functions best when each part knows its role and performs it for the glory of God.  “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it” (v.27). 

I am so blessed to be part of the body of Christ here with you!  It’s even better to know that when this game of life is over, we are all winners with Jesus!!

Posted September 11, 2008 by David N. Peppler, Sr. in Christian Lifestyle, Church, Service

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