A freshman in high school was trying out for the lacrosse team. After the first try-outs, the boy came home and expressed his excitement for the position he wanted to play: goalkeeper. The dad, in a huff, doused the young boy’s enthusiasm with a twisted take. The man matter-of-factly told his boy, “You will not be playing goalie. You see, son, the goalie never has a chance to score; therefore you can not be the hero of the game if you are the goalie.”
The boy, somewhat dejected and taken aback by the less than encouraging words of his father, grudgingly accepted what his father told him because, after all, he was his father. Following the advice, he abandoned his hopes of playing goalkeeper.
That boy made the team. For the remainder of his high school years, he was very successful at the position of Attacker – scoring goals and winning games. Even so, one must wonder how much, if any, animosity he had against his dad for being told his passion was pointless.
This story directly translates to both life and our faith. The father had a short-sighted take on lacrosse. The father also had a short-sighted take on life. And, no doubt, he would not be moving mountains with his faith until he changed how he thinks (Matthew 17:20, Romans 12:2*).
His assumption was the hero is always the one who scores the goals. When, in fact, this is not always the case. What he lost sight of was is how it is a TEAM sport – as is life and faith through community. The goalkeeper is just as important, if not more often times, because he/she can keep the other team from scoring points for the win. The goalkeeper is an important part to any team which requires one. The father took the stance that the glory comes only from scoring.
No pun intended, but, just as God intended… true glory comes from saving. That’s what Jesus did for all of us. Jesus knew the value of taking one for the team. Through his sacrifice, we are all now saved as well. Jesus scored plenty while on earth – healing the lame, restoring sight to the blind, raising the dead, making water into wine, etc. But his greatest victory was his willingness to sit in net.
Perhaps we need to focus on the goals saved rather than always on the goals scored. Those who we impact will thank us. Life and faith are both about sacrifices. There’s a great value in having the goalkeeper mentality.
“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” – Matthew 17:20
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. – Romans 12:2
Trey Campbell: email@example.com