In it to win it!

If you’re a Michigan fan – you’re feeling a little let down today. I had to stop watching the game with 2 minutes remaining. I didn’t want to give up on the team, but I wanted to drift off to sleep without the memory of the last moment in my head. It’s only a game – but emotion? It’s in there. For all of us who are team players and know the dependency factor of teamwork …. enjoy the benefits of being on a team today.  Cheer up!  Pass it on!

Have you ever read the book by Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People? Since that book he’s written others along the same line, but that one has reached almost classic status. In his book, Covey introduced the idea of synergy, which in essence says that we can do more together than we can as individuals. Teamwork – Relationship  Look around for a few minutes and find things that get done by yourself, alone, without some help from another person.  Well, I’m tempted to say laundry doesn’t count, but even then if you stretch the concept of synergy,  teamwork is especially useful for the task. The Message translation of Psalm 133:1 says it best “How wonderful, how beautiful, when brothers and sisters get along!”  That’s what we need for synergy – to get along.

Covey also describes what he called the emotional bank account. Since reading his book, I’ve heard other variations on that theme and recently I’ve realized the truth in that analogy.  Sometimes we sail through day after day and everything is right and our way seems clear. Other times, whether we turn to the left of to the right, we’re met with conflict, barricades, rocky roads, and high water.  Broken relationships, words spoken in anger that can’t be taken back, a decision that seemed best at the time, but added chaos to your life instead, a devastating illness that takes every ounce of resolve you have left to function a few hours a day, insurmountable financial burdens … there is no need to continue. We know what it’s like to go through times when our emotional bank accounts are drained dry. The affirming, positive deposits are depleted by the barrage of negative circumstances. This is a condition recognized way back in  Proverbs 18:14 (The Message) “A healthy spirit conquers adversity, but what can you do when the spirit is crushed?”  What can we do when our spirits are crushed?

There is no instant cure, but there is hope. Pray for God to give discernment in decisions of this day. Live in his presence, being in constant communication with him. Claim the promise in Psalm 89:22-24 while we strengthen our faith and wait “The enemy will not get the better of him; the wicked will not oppress him.  I will crush his foes before him and strike down his adversaries. My faithful love will be with him, and through my name his strength will be exalted.”

We can also help each other, offer support to those who are going through tough times. There is something about helping others that makes our own burdens lighter.  For our crushed spirits that are weakened by the storm, remember these words of Isaiah 40:31 “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Do you hear it?  It’s the sound of the battle cry! Begin the day with God and be in it to win it!

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