A few years ago Liam signed up to play football for the city. He didn’t have a lot of experience playing football – he didn’t know the game well and hadn’t ever really worked on those skills. But he loved to play. There was another boy on his team named Bryce. And Bryce had lived football, almost his whole life. And at every game he had his parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and football-loving grandparents there, cheering him on. And he was good!

After one game, as we were driving home, I asked Liam about the game. He looked like he was feeling kind of down. They’d won the game, so I wasn’t sure what was bothering him. He said, “Mom, no one ever throws the ball to me. They always throw it to Bryce.” And he was right. But that was because Bryce always caught it and always outran the other boys for a touchdown. I let him sit with this for a time. Then I asked, “Aren’t you so glad that Bryce is on your team?!” I could see the wheels turning. He sat thoughtful for a minute, and then he agreed with me.

The next game, the next week, nothing was different. The ball always went to Bryce, and Bryce always took it all the way down. Nothing was different except for Liam. That boy became Bryce’s loudest cheerleader. Every time Bryce made a touchdown, it was a touchdown for Liam, too. And Liam knew it. And Liam went crazy. He high-fived Bryce, he cheered Bryce, he even tried his best to protect Bryce – his team – from the other team.

And it was a great great season!

Today Brooke is talking about the loneliness of comparison, and the power of seeing others not as our rivals but as our teammates. Liam started seeing Bryce as his inspiration instead of his roadblock to greater success himself.

“Inspiration is awesome. Comparison feels not so awesome. In fact, it feels lonely and discouraging.”

Bryant’s office held a weight-loss contest several months ago. And Bry was all in. And he worked hard and really lost some weight. There were a couple other guys in the office who lost more, though. And Bry, instead feeling like their opponent, really talked to those guys. He got some good advice and tips – he was thrilled. And he has been following those tips to continue losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle. He chose to be inspired by the winners.

“I had to learn to see other people as my support rather than my burden or my competition… Learn to see people as teammates instead of inmates.”

Having a team makes sense. We are safer in teams. It was when Adam was alone that Satan came to tempt him. It was when Eve was alone that Satan tempted her as well.

We can accomplish more in teams. Brooke said, maybe 4 or 5 times in this episode:

“Bigger teams build bigger dreams!”

And it is the Lord’s way, to work in unity – to work in teams.

“That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us…”

We can pray that prayer, for ourselves. Ask God to help us – He is always on our team.

“And He would like nothing more than to make your team bigger.”

Who is on my team?

Who is not on my team? How can I change that – how can I turn the people who don’t appear to be on my team, to teammates? Here is an idea: I can find ways to learn from them. I can pray for those opportunities. And anyone I can learn from all of the sudden joins my team – they become a teammate in this game of life, right?

This puts that responsibility on me. This is within my control – who is on my team.


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