In Others’ Words: Being Here for Each Other

Here for each other 2015

I didn’t play team sports much growing up. 

Oh sure, I played kickball during recess. I always envied the kids who could kick a “creeker” — kicking the ball hard enough so that it soared over the ravine at the end of the playground and into the woods beyond.

And I participated in the mandatory team sports in gym — and hated them one and all. Why? Because I was always afraid I’d let my team down. That I’d be, if not the weakest link, one of the weaker ones.

When I did finally get involved in a sport, I chose karate. One of the things I liked about Tang Soo Do is that I competed against myself. It was all about improving my skills, my abilities. If I entered a tournament, I went up against other opponents — but it was still one on one. If I let anyone down, it was me — but never a team.

My youngest daughter just finished her second season of club volleyball. Watching her, I’ve learned the value of being on a team. I’ve seen her get to know her teammates, learn to work together, to win together, lose together … to be there for one another. 

If we’re not here for one another in this life, then we’re missing the point. Oh, I know. There are lots of “points” when it comes to life, but being here for one another is a you-don’t-want-to-miss-this-one kind of point. Even in my solitary moments, when I am doing the work of writing on my own, I know I am not truly alone. I know my mentors are only a phone call or FaceTime or Skype away. I know my Dream Team is praying for me and supporting me. I know my family believes in me and supports me. They are here for me … and I am here for them.

We are here for one another. And it makes life good.

In Your Words: What teams have you participated in? What were some of the benefits of being on a team? When you hear the phrase “we are here for each other,” who do you think of?

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8 Comments

  1. June 3, 2015, 5:59 am   /  Reply

    Though physically strong, I couldn’t be a sports team player because of the heart issue that resulted in my pacemakers. But I’m a good team player in other areas and love the interaction and mutual support. Yes, your dream team is amazing and I’m so happy for you, but then a team only supports what it genuinely believes in. Go, Beth! 🙂

    • June 3, 2015, 3:04 pm   /  Reply

      Dee:
      Since you’re a longstanding member of my Dream Team, I can attest to how valuable you are as a team player — also as a MBT Ponderer. Those teams have made such a difference in my life!

  2. June 3, 2015, 6:48 am   /  Reply

    Oh, wow, man, it’s like, I do my own thing, and when I fully groove in actualizing my own potential, it’s like, then everyone else can look up to my bright shining Oneness and be inspired, so it’s for, like, everyone. It’s like, dig it, you see a flock of sparrows and you hope they don’t crap on your head, but you see an eagle and say, “Oh, WOW! Far out!”

    Uh, wait. Wrong tape. That one goes back in the 60s box, along with the bell-bottoms and beads.

    Al Sever, in his memoir “Xin Loi, Viet Nam”, got it exactly right. Life is about responsibilities, and not rights. Belief and conviction are fine, but they are nothing if they are not exercised and extended to others, for that will be the basis for our evaluation after this life. His book is kind of a James’ Epistle with machine guns and napalm.

    There is a story I like from an epic poem which forms part of the prologue to the Bhagavad Gita. It’s about an Indian prince who dies, and sets out on the long and perilous road to heaven. Along the way he befriends a dog, and they travel together, facing dangers and hopes side by side.

    When he reaches the gates, the Hindu St. Peter says, “Come on in! But, uh, the dog stays outside.”

    The prince steps back. “Whither he goest, I go,” he says.

    And that was a test, for the dog was really Brahma, and loyalty, whether to long-loved family or too one whom we’ve only lately met, is the entrance requirement for Paradise. How could the Elysian Fields be otherwise? How could they have meaning without context?

    We stand or fall together. Wherever two or more are gathered in His name, there He is with them.

    • June 3, 2015, 3:05 pm   /  Reply

      “We stand or fall together.”
      Reminds me of the truth: As house divided cannot stand.
      So, so true.

  3. June 3, 2015, 9:16 am   /  Reply

    I enjoyed team sports when I was growing up. I was never the top player, but I usually did okay. Playing kickball at recess was another story. Often, I was the one of the last ones picked. When I kicked well, the boys team wanted me, which led to me putting a lot of pressure on myself and . . . choking. And being the last one picked forever after.

    I played intramural volleyball at our church in high school, competed on swim team and did some softball teams in my early twenties. I enjoyed these experiences.

    Now, I’m part of our church’s retreat planning team. And I sometimes struggle with the thought that I’m not doing enough for the team. But I’m doing what my responsibilities are, and that’s all that is expected of me. We each have our roles to fulfill, and we fulfill them. It’s hard to remember, sometimes, that I don’t have to excel and be “Super-Jeanne.” I just need to complete the role given to me. That’s all God, and the other team members expect.

    Sorry, I got on a ramble. This post stirred a lot of thoughts.

    • June 3, 2015, 3:06 pm   /  Reply

      I so appreciated your thoughts, Jeanne. I think the memory of who we were as kids follow us into adulthood — and we need to remember that who were were isn’t always who we are. As a matter of fact, very rarely are the two true.

  4. June 3, 2015, 2:55 pm   /  Reply

    It makes me teary to think about your question at the end. I have more supportive people than I can name these days, but it hasn’t always been that way. I am so, so, so grateful for coming out of isolation and for having a list of family and friends who are here for me and who also know I’m available. Fellowship is such a gift. And while we’re talking on the topic, thanks for your friendship that opened up even more connections with your family and friends. Like I said … a gift.

    • June 3, 2015, 3:08 pm   /  Reply

      Kim:
      For the times I think, “Oh, the internet! It’s so intrusive!”
      And then I think of someone like you — and how we might have never met. Might have never had the chance to be there for one another.
      And I am so thankful for you in my life too, Kim. So, so thankful.

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