Making the Team

by Beverly Hutchinson McNeff

A popular, award-winning television show on Apple TV is Ted Lasso. It is a comedy about an American football coach who is offered a job in England coaching a professional football team. Now, of course, our football is not the same as their football, which resembles soccer to us, but Ted takes the job even though he knows really nothing about their game. As you can imagine, there are a lot of adversities, but Ted has such an incredible attitude that he overcomes it all.

As I watched the heartwarming series, it reminded me of a story I read years ago about Jimmy Johnson (the then coach of the Dallas Cowboys football team) and how in just four years he had led his team out of last place to win the 1993 Super Bowl. Now, I am not a sports aficionado, but I was touched by how Johnson achieved this phenomenal feat.

Johnson said he always learned the names of all the new draft picks. Though they were all talented, outstanding athletes, when they came off the practice field after their first day in the pros, they were unsure and anxious. He said by calling each rookie by name and remarking on the positive things the player did on the field, he could see before his very eyes their demeanor change and confidence return. A lot of coaches don’t bother to learn any of the rookies’ names until after “the cut,” but Johnson says that alone can be the difference. If the coach doesn’t know the player’s names, the player may not make “the cut.”

The need for recognition is important to all of us. It can make all the difference in our lives – the difference between “making the team” or “being cut.” When we realize that God knows who we are, that we are important to Him and that He knows our name (our true nature, not our ego mistakes), it is the greatest source of confidence.

In A Course in Miracles we read these empowering thoughts…

“You are altogether irreplaceable in the Mind of God. No one else can fill your part.” (T-9.VIII.10:1)

“God Himself is incomplete without me.” (T-9.VII.8:2)

These thoughts can fill us with a sense of worth and value that transcends the world. Allow these thoughts of truth to fill you with the grandeur of God, not the grandiosity of the ego, by recognizing the worth in all of God’s creations.

Let us recognize our value by valuing others, let us know their “name” through our kind actions and deeds. A smile, a touch, a caring word, or merely knowing someone’s name, will be the way for you to remember your worth and importance and realize you’ve already made God’s team.

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