Worship Wednesdays - The Year I Was A Soccer Star...

"Athletic" has never been used to describe me.

I played sports as all kids do, and at one point I was even asked to try out for the school basketball team, but I chose choir over basketball, and I'm pretty sure that worked best in the long run.

One summer, my parents signed me up for soccer. I can't remember why exactly, but all my friends were doing it, so I guess that's as good a reason as any. Teams were divided by age, not by skill level, and I was fine with that. As the smallest kid in the class, and the one who loved choir, I was chosen last, pretty much always. I had lots of energy, but running, throwing a ball, or doing any kind of catching was certainly not on my skill list.

Well, that summer, the random lottery of teams did an amazing thing. When I arrived at our first rehearsal (wait, sports people say 'practice', right?)... When I arrived at our first practice, I couldn't believe who was on my team. Sherry, Tara, Beth - from some fluke of the universe, I ended up on the same team as all the athletic girls in my class!

I was completely overwhelmed. "Great," I thought, "One more summer of being chosen last. What will they do when I make us lose every game?" I started thinking of ways to fake a 2-month leg cramp...

Each week, we rehearsed and played games. But as the summer went on, the strangest thing started to happen. I became good at soccer! I tried different positions, and found my strength in playing defence. I could see the ball coming down the field and I learned just where to run and kick to get it out of my zone. I felt myself getting stronger, more confident...

Our team started winning games - not despite me, certainly not because of me, but with me. By the end of the summer, we made it into the playoffs, and in a twist never anticipated, we won the gold medal! I'd never been part of a winning sports team before. For the other girls on the team, this was their goal, their dream. But for me, it was so unexpected, so surreal...

I started that summer unskilled and lacking confidence, with no thoughts of ever winning a gold medal. But for 8 full weeks, I was surrounded by people who were better than me - talented, skilled, passionate about winning the game - and it changed me. It forced me to raise my skill level. The more I played, the better I got. My teammates encouraged me, and my newfound confidence gave me the courage to made bolder moves and take more risks.

It's been years since I've thought of that summer, but I was reminded of it this week as Gerald and I started to make plans to cowrite with several of our friends. You see, that summer was an outlier moment for me. I've never been part of a winning sports team again, and I don't anticipate it happening anytime soon, but the lessons of that summer shaped me.

If you want to become great at something, you need to be around people who are better at it than you are. Work with skilled writers, sing with amazing singers, play with monster players. Test your ideas against people with more knowledge and experience. Do it 'til it scares you, and then do it again. And when you look back at the end of the season, you'll see how much you've grown, how much you've honed your skills, the great things you've accomplished, and the confidence you've gained.

You'll have so much more to offer your team! Share with with them. Be generous. And then...

Search out a new group who is more talented than you, and start all over again...



Worship Wednesdays is a weekly series to encourage and equip worship leaders and songwriters. Bookmark this page visit us every Wednesday!

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