“2nd team normally always wins this competition”

One of the topics I touch on regularly is the area of gifts and talents.  I find frequently that teams are disjointed and have their players in the wrong positions on the team.  Additionally, I find many have never taken time to understand their personal gifts and talents in order to seek out opportunities which best align.  While I touch on this regularly in post, one particular post that goes into a bit more detail is “it’s my gift“.

Today, I want to share a story which I’ve heard recently that ties to getting people in the right positions and helping them to understand we need each other.  Unfortunately, I don’t recall exactly where I heard it to give proper credit; so, please forgive me for this.  Additionally, for you non-sports fans, please forgive my sports analogy and attempt to relate in your own personal way.

As many may know, one of my claims to fame is that I had the opportunity to be the quarterback of a state championship football team.  I have many found memories from these days and this was a defining moment in my life as it affirmed my gift of leadership.  It also allowed me the opportunity to continue to play football in my college years.  In college, I was what one might call a “clipboard quarterback”.  Yes, for the first couple years, I was the quarterback on the sidelines carrying around a “clipboard”.  This role is normally reserved for the 2nd and 3rd string quarterbacks for which I served well.

As a 3rd string quarterback, one of my favorite things to do was run “scout squad” offense in practices.  “Scout squad” is where the 2nd/3rd team lined up against 1st team to run plays scouts have identified being run by their upcoming opponent.  It was always a huge deal when the “scout squad” ran a play which beat the 1st team.  We’d celebrate as the coaches generally had strong words of encouragement to the 1st team regarding their breakdown.   While the “scout team” would have an occasional play they might win, it was very rare that we’d ever come close to winning an entire game against the 1st team.

The story I recently heard involves a coach who regularly at the beginning of the year has a 1st team versus 2nd team competition; however, there was a bit of a catch to the competition.  The coach has the 1st team line up in positions which they don’t normally play.  For example, the 1st team quarterback might line up as a running back, a lineman might line up as a receiver, the receiver might take the quarterback position and so on.  So, what they ended up with is a 1st team of players disjointed and out of position playing against the 2nd team who had all their players in the right position.  Another way of saying it might be, the overall teams most gifted and talent players were placed in positions that didn’t marry up with their specific gifts and talents.

Anyone care to guess who normally wins this completion?  Yes, as you likely guessed and as the story goes, the 2nd team normally always wins this competition.  Great players misplaced can’t compete against good players in their right positions.

There are a few takeaways, I had when initially hearing this story.

  1. The topic reemphasized the need for understanding one’s gifting and talents and getting people in the right position on the team.
  2. The story was a wonderful analogy of how we need to recognize people are gifted and talented differently AND we need each other.
  3. In a biblical context where we are part of a body (or large team), how well are we positioning our players AND recognizing our need for each other.

I anticipate you may have shared these takeaways and I’d love to hear more in the comments below.

A final word I’d offer is that I’m finding that many in today’s world are being draw away from the areas of their greatest gifting.  Unfortunately, one of the primary drivers behind this is money and greed.  In a world that chases after “success” where “success” is defined by “positions, titles, possessions, etc” and often rewarded with money, my challenge to you is to stop and reflect.  Is it possible that the only true “success” in your life is to best identify your specific gifts and talents and apply in a manner which God is calling you to do so?  Need help with this? I’d love to chat!

2 responses to ““2nd team normally always wins this competition””

  1. Joyce Hanlon says:

    Great analogy, Chris!!

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