I LOVE football so this past Sunday with the championship games I was glued to the TV even though my Colts and Peyton (Denver) weren't playing. Football for me is such a great mirror of life: The players prepare and practice. They show up on the field not knowing the challenges and the triumphs they will experience. They exceed limits and shock the hell out of themselves doing what they have never done before AND they miss opportunities fumbling plays they thought they had perfected. In the end, only one team can be declared the winner, but I am always in appreciation for the courage they all display over the 60 minutes of play.
Ray Lewis, a 16 year veteran for the Ravens, was interviewed after he and his team defeated the Patriots. He is known and loved not just for his athleticism but for his heart that was born to inspire on the field and off the field. The broadcaster interviewing Ray was focused soley on "Ray Lewis" (the man, the myth, the legend) and his accomplishments. Overcome with emotions, he was crying as he said, "It is all about the team." You could feel his deep appreciation for each player, the owner and the coaches. He went on to say that without the team, he wouldn't be who he is or where he is (going to the SuperBowl).
I began to cry as I knew exactly what he was feeling. We all need a team! I have a team. They have been in the trenches with me through the darkest moments of my life AND they have celebrated with me over victories great and small. They have stood with me in the pain of life and in the joy of life and their presence has given me the courage to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Their laughter and sillyness has invited me to come out and play even on days when I didn't want to. Their willingness to risk, set out on adventures into the unknown have fueled me to throw caution to the wind.
My team makes life richer! They allow me to stand on them when my foundation is shaky and stand with them borrowing from their energy and I return the favor. This is an exchange, a dance, divinely orchestrated to ever-changing rhythms. This is life. Wondrous. AWEsome.