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I played basketball in High School and the different personalities that make up a team cause me to really marvel at coach’s who can make them all work together.  Our team was full of superstars (not me) that individually were being looked at by many colleges, so the level of play even at practice was high.  I was the number one sub at point guard and even started a couple of games, but I mostly played behind another guy.  He was incredible and basketball was his life, where life was my life and basketball was a pastime.  I distinctly remember on one occasion when we were playing a cross state rival that all of those personalities didn’t work together as a team.  With all the stars that would have been okay, except, we were playing a real “team.”  They knew exactly what they were doing and what their roles were and we were running around like people who didn’t  know what they were doing.  It got so bad with our point guard that our coach called numerous time outs to settle everyone down and get our guard to start moving the ball around.  Up to this point our guard had made a decision he was going to win this game on his own and he was killing us.  The rest of the team saw what was happening and we quit believing that we could win under the present circumstances.  In the second half after a blistering halftime speech our point guard showed a little change of attitude, but then it happened.  He ran one of our favorite plays, a man came open, and instead of passing it to him, he drove the basket and threw up a prayer that didn’t work.  That was it!  Our coach was livid!  With red face and heavy breathing, he looked down the bench at me and said, “Warren get in there and run the plays.”  I jumped up and went to the scorers table and checked in.   As I was walking by our point guard and our coach I heard our coach say, “Sit down.  You’re done.”  At the time I didn’t know what he meant, but after about five minutes I could see that I was in the game to stay.  When he said, “You’re done”, he meant for the whole game.  Woh!  What it meant was he was no longer any help to the team’s effort and in fact, he was losing the game for us.  It was like he was for the other team, even though he wasn’t.  In 1 Timothy 1:18-20, Paul’s writes to encourage Timothy to keep on keeping on.  He tells him to keep on “fighting the good fight” like he was prophesied to do.  Timothy keeping the faith was the best thing for keeping the team together and winning the battles ahead.  Two others who had been on the team were told “you are done.”  They weren’t given any more grace or used to help the cause of Christ.  They were done.  Paul used the term “shipwrecked” in explaining their condition.  Why were they shipwrecked?  Because they rejected doing things the right way that results in God being not being glorified and the cause of Christ not furthered.  They were not team players, but superstars in their own minds.  Paul yanked them out of service and told them they were done.  Done for good….He even put a very harsh indictment on them by handing them over to satan to be taught not to blaspheme.  Sometimes it can get that bad when others in faith start taking away from the team and start working against the team.  They lose sight of what is important and start thinking more for themselves than for the whole team.  Which brings up the question.  Are you contributing for Christ, or distributing against Christ?  It’s either one or the other and that fact we hate to admit.  But it’s true. Time out for self evaluation.  Are you sailing on the high seas of life and growing in Christ as you sail, or are you shipwrecked.  It would be tragic to get to the point where God would say, “You’re Done!”  Remember who you are in Christ and what is possible when you totally surrender to him.  You will be in the good fight when that happens and God’s prophecy for you to do great and mighty things will come to pass.  Now is the time to keep sailing.  Rocks ahead, but with Christ they aren’t obstacles, but direction finders for new seas that lie ahead.

The Pilgrimage continues….

David Warren

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