“Now the sons of Hassenaah built the Fish Gate; they laid its beams and hung its doors with its bolts and bars. 4 Next to them Meremoth the son of Uriah the son of Hakkoz made repairs. And next to him Meshullam the son of Berechiah the son of Meshezabel made repairs.” Nehemiah 3:3-4, NASU
Playing on the Columbus High School Sailors varsity baseball team, in the years 1972-1973, are memories I will never forget. Being on the team, with juniors and seniors, each highly skilled at their position, enabled us to go to the Iowa state finals my junior year. In fact, I remember most of the guys names, being we were together for many practices, games, and even school classes.
Mike Thissen was the “Golden Arm” pitcher, whose earned run average (e.r.a.) was below one run per game. He made 1st team All-State that year and was later drafted by the Minnesota Twins major league team.
Mike Paar played 1st base, Alan Sinwell played 2nd, Louie Ball was at 3rd base, with Jeff Armentrout covering the shortstop position. He was one with very little errors in the field. I was the centerfielder, along with Dave Coffin and Tim Dunbar on either side in left and right fields. Dave Welters was the catcher, who was especially talented at throwing out runners trying to steal 2nd base. And we can’t forget others on the team – Jeff Sizer, Dave Knipp, Steve Mourer, Francis McElroy, and of course the three batgirls!
Coach Brian “Duke” Dutkowski knew our strengths and was wise to put us each which benefited the team’s overall performance for the most good. Even though we got beat 1-0 by the eventual state champs in the semi-final game, a heartbreaker, the years together created lifetime memories.
When I was reading the Scripture book of Nehemiah this week, I was almost tempted to skip over the wall building chapter, where one by one it names those who helped rebuild the torn down wall. You know how it is – skip the parts that seem “irrelevant” to you.
But then the Holy Spirit nudged me and said in my spirit, “This is important. Pay attention.”
So, I carefully read each line in chapter 3, where purposely it states each name and the section they worked on, either a part of the wall or a burned-down gate, repairing it for themselves, their families, and those who had and yet would return from exile. As I read it, I tried to picture in my mind the location of the gates noted, given the times I walked around the Old City of Jerusalem in Israel, in past years, and can recall the gates names. (It only takes about an hour to walk the circumference, even with the larger, expanded current city wall.)
Here is another section of this Word written for our benefit to note (in case you don’t read it all), “Moreover Jehoiada the son of Paseah and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah repaired the Old Gate; they laid its beams and hung its doors, with its bolts and bars. And next to them Melatiah the Gibeonite, Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon and Mizpah, repaired the residence of the governor of the region beyond the River. Next to him Uzziel the son of Harhaiah, one of the goldsmiths, made repairs. Also next to him Hananiah, one of the perfumers, made repairs; and they fortified Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall. And next to them Rephaiah the son of Hur, leader of half the district of Jerusalem, made repairs. Next to them Jedaiah the son of Harumaph made repairs in front of his house. And next to him Hattush the son of Hashabniah made repairs.” Nehemiah 3:6-10, NKJV
How important is it to note the names of each team member who worked, and their responsibility they dutifully carried out? Obviously important enough to the Lord to have included them for all time in the Bible, recorded for us to know today.
Even as with the high school baseball team, or a team you may have been on in college, at the office, in the construction field – the lessons learned in working together, building for the common good, laboring for something beyond just what one individual could have done, if at all, by themselves, builds within us character, longtime friendships, and the importance of being together. It all shows that the team concept is important.
Appreciate those around you who work with you, support you, and encourage you in the job and tasks we each have been given to do. Be sure to acknowledge their worth, their contribution, their efforts in all that they put forth, whether it raises them up in public view or not.
Each of us has been given gifts and skills to use for the benefit of each other. Let’s do it.
“…but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.” Ephesians 4:15-16, NASU
We were not created to go at it alone. I hope you realize it even more during these times that can make, and force us, to be secluded and kept apart from each other. Make every attempt to stay connected and be a part of a team.
Ahava and shalom,
Steve Martin, Love For His People founder
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Time To Act #36 – in the year of our Lord 12.31.2020 – “The Team”, Thursday, 12:30 pm in Charlotte, NC USA