As a baseball enthusiast and Dodger fan I learned three lessons(with spiritual implications) recently from my team's failure to make the playoffs for the 3rd straight year. There's a kind of poetic justice in it all. First, you can't buy team success buy tossing around a lot of money and assembling mere talent. Chemistry among players takes time and common experience to develop. There was more team chemistry evident in the success earlier in the season with obscure names involved, than later after the superstars had been brought onboard and the ship began to founder in the face of such high expectations. Secondly, no team (or church or ministry) is so advanced it can leave behind fundamentals. You have to continue to execute and do the basic little things like moving runners along and alertly running the basepaths. ('To be mature is to be basic' Eugene Peterson says. It's not so much what-would-Jesus-do as getting a better grasp on what-has-Jesus-already-done) Thirdly, aggressive excitement has to be balanced by wisdom, zeal has to be reined in by caution. There is no formula for winning that can replace the need for vigilance in the flow of moment to moment events.
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