I have had the privilage of coaching all state senior athletes for several years. These are young men who are nominated and selected by coaches from all over the state of Texas to participate in a week of practices culminating in a North v South game.
The week of practice is a time of fellowship and creating positive memories while giving these senior athletes an opportunity to play one final game. Unlike other sports, football ends for most players with high school. I have yet to see a "pickup" tackle football game whereby a bunch of guys get together to put on the pads again and bang their geriatric skulls.
What always amazes me is the number of players who have a difficult time playing "team football" during the week of practice. For some, they have been the superstar or "go to" guy on their teams for years. They led their teams in production on both sides of the ball so they have become accustomed to having to do more than their job in the game. These players have lost faith that their teammates will do what needs to be done for success.
The downside to the lack of faith is the false belief that one's own abilities are sufficient. In football, as well as life, when you begin the process of focusing on what someone else has been tasked to do your own responsibilities suffer. "That which is held in common is afforded the least amount of care" is an Aristotle quote which I preach often. If teammates lack faith in each other then they will care less about the whole and the outcome will be mediocrity at best.
Jesus teaches us as well that all that we receive we receive through faith. In Romans 5, we learn that we are justified through faith, we are sanctified through faith (Acts 15:9), our prayers are answered through faith (Mark 11:24), and we overcome the world through faith. (1 John 5:4).
Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through Jesus Christ
Jesus is clear, all of the things that grace provides us comes through faith. The medium of exchange in the Kingdom of Heaven is faith. Faith is therefore your measure of victory and success. Heaven is the goal and faith is the measure by which it is achieved. Likewise, we have to learn to place faith in those around us (and them in us) if we are to have success on earth.
In the course of playing in seven straight state title games, our teams had a variety of talent. However, they were able to achieve their goals because they learned how to put faith in their teammates. It was their measure of faith which propelled them much more than their individual abilities.
Each season, I pray that our players will learn to trust in each other and discover the power of faith. Even more so, I pray that this lesson not only be learned on the gridiron but more so in life so that they will put their faith in Jesus Christ to cover their transgressions and give them the peace which can only be found in Him.