Sunday, August 12, 2012

1 Soccer

Paul, called to be an apostle of Soccer by the will of God. To the Nova Bastille Soccer Club, to those who love Soccer, together with all those everywhere who love the game. Grace and peace to you from God our coach.

I always thank God for you because of the talent God has given you. You have been enriched in every way, in all your dribbling and tackling and kicking. You do not lack any talent as we wait for the end of this great Soccer game we call life.

I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, that all of you will agree with one another so that there will be no divisions among your team. Some have informed me there have been quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One says, "I want to win." Another says, "We should have fun." Another says, "I want to make great plays." And another says, "Everyone should get a chance to play."

Is the game divided? Should we have one team for the jocks and another for the clueless? I think not. But we should all play together in love and fun.

When I came to you, I came not as an expert in Soccer, but as someone who loved the game. I could not make spectacular saves. I did not make any amazing plays. But I came preaching joy, and fun, and love for the game. You are not ready for more complicated lessons, because you haven't even learned how to play as a team.

It is actually reported that one of your fullbacks made five goals in a row, running all the way down the field to sink the goal into the net. And you are proud! Shouldn't you rather have been filled with grief? Your boasting is not good.

Now for the things you wrote to me about. It is good to use the broken-in soccer ball; but sometimes, since some of your members have trouble kicking that one as far, it is good to use the shiny new one. And play in Nova Bastille, but for those who live in Hoover Point, play there sometimes too.

Now about athletic gifts, I do not want you to be ignorant. To each is given talent for the good of the entire team. Some can pass well; others tackle. Some make leaping catches; others kick a great distance. Some play offense; some play defense. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and the Spirit gives them to each one just as the Spirit determines.

The team is a unit, though it is made up of many team members. The team is not made up of one member, but of many. If a fullback would say, "Because I don't get to shoot any goals, I am not part of the team," he does not cease to be part of the team. If a forward were to say, "Because I do not defend our goal, I am not part of the team," she would not for that reason cease to be part of the team. As it is, there are many members, but one team.

If I make amazing midair catches and keep the opposition from scoring a goal, but have not teamwork, I am worthless. If I can receive a pass when two fullbacks and a center are crowding me, and send that ball soaring into the goal right past the goalie, but I have not teamwork, I am nothing.

Teamwork is patient and kind, teamwork looks out for all members, teamwork is not self-glorifying but is willing to give up glory for the sake of another. Teamwork always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres, and teamwork always shares the ball with the weaker members.

I, Paul, write this with my own hand. If anyone does not love Soccer, a curse be on him or her. My love to all of you.


Copyright © 2012 by David Learn. Used with permission.

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