So this last Saturday was pretty devastating for my recreational basketball team. To give you some background on my team, most of us know each other from being in the Kinesiology program and we all transferred from the same college. Last season we were runners up losing to a buzzer beater in the finals. This season we were prepared to take it all the way and win. Unfortunately we had a rough start to the season with two devastating losses from the very beginning. We didn’t lose because the other teams were better than us, we lost because we didn’t play to the best of our capabilities. This last Saturday was a total embarrassment.
On the Friday night before our game, I got a text from one of my teammates saying that five of our players cannot make it to the game due to injuries and that maybe I should not waste my time by going to the game. I refused to throw a game especially when we had 4 other able players (the minimum required number of players required to start a game) that could make it out. I tried to rally everybody and just prayed that it would all work out. The next day I was the only player that showed up and we had to forfeit the game. A league official came up to me and told me that our team would be removed from the league because we didn’t have enough players to even start a game and I was in shock.
Our opponents invited me to join them in a pick up game with other players that were just standing around and I was grateful. I played hard to vent out my frustration and because this was likely to be my last opportunity to play a full game until next season. Throughout the game my “teammates” passed the ball to me only a little bit because I had the wrong colour uniform, but they kept on apologizing to me even when I told them it was OK. After the pick up game, this team invited me to join their team if the league will let me. I was humbled by their invitation because we are complete strangers!! Not only that but as Kinesiology students we are stereotyped as brash and proud, and this team was made up of engineering students (who are also very proud, but in a different way). This open acceptance and inclusion of me is rivaled only by my own teammates. As much as I would love to join this engineering team, my loyalties are first and foremost to my own team so I will keep on pushing to stay in the league. But just to know that I have another team to go to is a huge relief.
In my life, my spiritual journey has been very similar to this incident. I have moved churches three times and I have attended churches of different denominations. At each church that my family ends up going to, we would be welcomed and invited to stay regardless of the denomination of the church that we attended prior to that one. This is just like this engineering team accepting me just because I am an athlete potentially looking for a new team to join. They don’t care that they don’t know me, and they couldn’t care less that I represent a different faculty. God made all the churches to be one so we need to accept each other. What this engineering team taught me is, why should I care what faculty a person represents? Why should I care what school they go to? Why should I care how long they have been in their faculty or how long they have been in school? In the end it doesn’t matter!! All that matters is that we are united as one. I absolutely feel disgusted when bad things happen and automatically people start pointing fingers at people in other faculties because of something that happened within that particular faculty. We are all students at the same school, when one faculty suffers we ALL gain a bad image. Therefore we need to help bring a good image back to the school!!!
Same thing goes for the church. It has had a bad image over the centuries because of events such as the crusades. Christians cannot point fingers and say this denomination is at fault, because in the end we are all ONE church. We need to accept each other and help each other fix any negative images that come up.
I pray that I can learn to accept others no matter what their background is and what their current situation is. I pray that I can have an open heart to not only accept others but to take them in and treat them like family.