Athlete, You Are Part of a Motley Crew


Athlete, You Are Part of a Motley Crew

Jason Cooper

Mark 3:16,17 (ESV)

He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom He gave the name Peter); James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom He gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder).

A “motley crew” is an informal expression for a roughly organized assembly of characters of various backgrounds, appearance and character.

In 2016 my wife and I went to the Nebraska vs. New Hampshire NCAA regional volleyball game.

I watched the Nebraska bench more than I watched the game. They stood the whole time. They interacted. They laughed, gave 3,000 high-fives and danced.

Some were reserved, some were exuberant. Some were nervous, some were not. Some were tall, some were short. They were a motley crew. Does that sound like your team?

Watching the Nebraska bench reminded me of the portfolio of personalities on my teams.

Lloyd was from Louisiana. He would have picked a fight with an asteroid. Erik was from Western Nebraska. He did not speak unless spoken to.

Everyone was a character. Everyone was different. Everyone was a part of the whole.

Your team is microcosm of the people Jesus interacted with — there are hotheads, snobs, phonies and zealots.

Perhaps, thinking of Jesus’ chosen assembly will help you appreciate and love your teammates better. Imagine Jesus sitting around a campfire with his disciples. Notice the characters of various backgrounds, personalities and appearances.

Now picture your teammates. Your teammates are similar in diversity to Jesus’ disciples.

If Jesus stood for such diversity, we should too.

If Jesus was not above hanging out with a motley crew, then you are not above that either.

Reflect: Pick two members of your motley crew that you typically think of as outside of God’s “in.” Count them in and see what happens.


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