• Clarice Aeby

A platoon of adhesive receivers


It’s the story behind the story in sports that captures my attention, and I pause at the title: “Peyton’s Place. Denver’s Super Bowl-bound quarterback is riding a mile high.”

Three years ago I picked up a weekly news magazine featuring a lengthy sports article. Curious, I started reading. Ah, yes. The Super Bowl was approaching, and much of America would be watching, creating a national party around 22 grown men running, throwing a ball, and hitting each other. Seems crazy. I’d be among the spectators.

Many times I have gotten a spiritual insight from a sports story. Perhaps because I, too, am part of a Team – God’s family, working together for a common cause. The strengths of each required. One’s weakness buoyed by another. The effort sometimes painful and rigorous. Motivational speeches necessary for focus. A combination of failures and victories part of the fabric. And the necessity to do it all together in the midst of setbacks and adversity. The comparisons go and on.

The article by David Von Drehle read in part:

"Other, younger quarterbacks boast tighter abs and tighter spirals; they scramble, dodge and pirouette their way on the highlight reels. Manning – whose one rushing touchdown this year made him look like a man with a bum hip chasing a taxi in wingtips – blew past them. He opened the season with a record-tying seven touchdown passes in game one against the defending Super Bowl champs from Baltimore. He never looked back.

His secret? A platoon of adhesive receivers certainly helped."

And there it was! The application leapt off the page. “A platoon of adhesive receivers…” The analogy immediately falls short because God is not “an aging quarterback with a bum hip chasing a taxi in wingtips.” He is the Almighty. But I welcomed the image of Him as a Game Maker in search of a platoon of adhesive receivers.

Recently, I’ve been thinking about the Team I’m on, the circle of Christians I’ve joined for this season of my life. I’m glancing back to review the gifts the Lord passed my direction and am wondering if they are adhering. I’m also looking at younger women in my circle who are still searching.

In my early twenties I was fortunate to join a small church consisting mostly of God-hungry, college students. We were serious about making Christ the center of our lives in the 70’s, a decade of rebellion that prioritized personal freedom over serving others. We were committed to each other – studying the Bible, praying, sharing our faith and nudging each other forward.

One of our recurring themes was spiritual gifts. We understood this: “A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.”(I Cor. 12:8 NLT) We took spiritual gift tests, read books and tried out new avenues of ministry to see how God might be leading us. It was a challenging and exciting time.

This topic of spiritual gifts doesn’t seem to get the attention it once did, and I wonder if church participation sometimes reflects that. What if each Christ-follower chose a Team – a local body of believers – realizing they had something of great significance to add? Not out of duty – but delight:

So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.

Romans 12:7 (The Message)

Yesterday I ordered a couple new books – one that describes 28 spiritual gifts. I can’t wait to read and share it with some younger friends on my Team.

This week I talked to my son who recently moved with his family from New Mexico to California, from a job that was mostly outdoors to one that keeps him mostly at a desk. He was excited to share that his family had found a church home and that he was spending Saturday mornings chopping wood for the local community. He described a line of needy people clear down the street who’d come to meet a pastor and receive help – food, clothes, firewood…

Did I mention he was excited?

“… let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be…”

Anyone recognizing the spiritual gift of service here? I believe he is part of a “platoon of adhesive receivers.”

TO CONSIDER: Is it time for you to DO Galatians 6:4?

“Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you’ve been given, and then sink yourself into that.” (The Message)

Thanks for sitting still with me today.

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