I don’t know what’s so glamorous about the one man show, but, especially in western culture, we pride ourselves on being able to accomplish great things alone. Unfortunately, it’s an attitude that is often more to our detriment than to our good.
In 1980, one of the greatest moments in sports history took place in Lake Placid, NY, during the winter olympics. A group of exceptionally average hockey players came together in one precise moment, and David slew Goliath on ice. The U.S. hockey team was a compilation of good (not great) college hockey players who finally figured out how to unite as a team, and how to overcome great adversity.
The game known as “The Miracle on Ice” wasn’t even for the gold medal -- it was for a chance to play for the gold. But it is a game that few will ever forget as Coach Herb Brooks led his boys to one of the most unlikely victories, ever.
There is so much written about this great event, and several excellent movies and documentaries have been made. As I’ve watched and read many of them, one profound truth emerges in all of them, and it’s this: no single player won the game for this team -- it was the whole unit coming together that led them to greatness.
Pursuing collaboration is a significant key in the process of living remarkably. While moments in life emerge when individual talent or determination are central components of our story, it’s in collaboration that we find the key to long-term success. During the great hockey game between the U.S. and Russia, individual players stepped up at key moments: Mark Johnson’s timely goal at the end of the first period led the soviet’s to bench their legendary goaltender; Mike Eruzione’s goal put the U.S. up 4-3; U.S. goaltender Jimmy Craig stopped everything hit at him in the final ten minutes.
Not one of those plays or players was more significant than the other, yet none of them would be remembered today, without the collective impact of all of them. The collaboration of the team led to team greatness, and to what Al Michael’s would remember as the greatest sports moment he ever had: “Eleven seconds. You got ten seconds...the countdown going on right now. Five seconds left in the game! Do you believe in miracles? Yes!”
Living remarkably demands that you and I pursue collaboration. The Bible is full of ordinary men and women who lived remarkable lives when they collaborated with others in chasing after God’s story. Peter the fisherman walked on water, healed the sick and preached before great leaders in collaboration with his brother, best friend and other followers of Christ. Esther was chosen only for her beauty, and soon became queen and saved a nation in collaboration with her uncle. David was a shepherd, whose friendship with Jonathan propelled him to be a man of incredible character (just as his collaboration with Joab influenced his demise...a topic for another blog). Paul, Sarah, Mary, John, Gideon, Deborah and the list goes on and on, of people who lived remarkably as they learned to collaborate with others.
Rarely in Scripture do we see instances where just one man, or one woman, is set apart for God’s work without them being put in direct connection with others. In fact, I can’t think of any such instances! Even Jesus, God’s own Son, walked this earth in collaboration with others as He fulfilled the Father’s plan for His life.
The point is this: collaboration makes us better. Collaboration allows us to improve our thinking, better our products, increase our influence and expand our reach as we strive to live remarkably according to our divinely created designs! Collaboration, not isolation, allows us to more efficiently and effectively complete the race God has given to each of us.
Remember, remarkable living happens when:
How are you pursuing collaboration? Who is one person you could contact, right now, in order to collaborate on your dreams and their dreams as you both try to live the Overboard Life?
Go ahead and take the plunge, life is always better on the water!