It has been tough to be a Seahawks fan. It isn’t even so much about the fact that they are losing for me, it is more about the fact that they should be better than they are and no one seems to be able to figure out what the problem is.
I heard an interesting diagnosis on sports radio from Mike Salk. He said that ever since the Super Bowl, when they lost in the hardest way there is to lose, they just have not seemed to be able to use that moment to unite as a team. Instead, Michael Bennett holds out from training camp for more money. Russell Wilson plays hardball to get the best contract possible. Kam Chancellor doesn’t even show up until game 3. They went from WE to ME. And so instead of using the loss to regroup and come back stronger and to work to cement their legacy of being not only one of the best defenses ever, but one of the best teams ever, they seem to be on the verge of collapse.
Choosing ME over WE is an age-old problem, of course. And I would guess particularly in sports where egos are huge to begin with, that it is much more rare to be able to be about the WE. But I thought they were the Legion of Brothers? I thought they had each other’s backs? What happened?
There are still 7 games to play. A lot can happen, but as I ponder this dilemma, it makes me think about other ways choosing me over we damage us as people.
In a family, if you choose ME over WE, you think about your own needs at the expense of the rest. You use more than you share of the bathroom time. You make everyone else late because you chose to sleep in. You have an affair because it feels good for you. There are ways from small to huge that choosing ME over WE can hurt a family.
In the church, choosing ME over WE is damaging as well. It can mean expecting others to do all the work because you are too busy. It can mean complaining to others instead of going to the source. There are lots of ways we damage each other.
On these crisp and clear days, when the mountains are out everywhere, I often think of Psalm 121:1, “I lift up my eyes to the hills, from where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.” And it reminds me that God has my back. God is watching me, so maybe I don’t have to focus so much on myself, because man does that get boring fast.
I was visiting a shut-in this week and she is one of the most generous women I know. She told me that when she was a kid, her dad always told her to look out. He said, “most people just look to the inside. I want you to look to the outside.” “And that,” she said, “is why I give.”
We are all certainly stuck in sin. The center of sin is “I” and at its heart, sin is about choosing ourselves over God and others. But I also believe that the spirit nudge us to look outside. To see where our true help comes from—because when we think it is all about ME, it is pretty paralyzing.
Earl Thomas said this week that the team needs to forgive each other. When you forgive, you have to take the focus off of yourself. I don’t know what will happen with the Hawks. And I do think it is an important lesson to also love a team with a losing record. But I also hope they can take a look in the mirror and forgive each other–because only then can you choose WE over ME.