I see the unfairness and don't want to look back and think one
day that I didn't do enough.
This past weekend I had a rare opportunity to see the movie "42." It is a movie based on the real life of Jackie Robinson, the first African American major league baseball player. It The movie highlights the prejudices Robinson faced as he sought to overcome those who were against him playing the game he loved simply because of the color of his skin.
Because this movie inspired me in so many ways, here are a few highlights from the movie and some possible applications to ministry settings.
"You're on my team. What am I supposed to do?"
Robinson had been belittled over and over while at bat by the Phillies Manager. Instead of retaliating, he kept his head and his eye on his assigned task. One of his fellow teammates stood up on behalf of Robinson and went toe to toe with the
Phillies Manager. Back in the dugout, Robinson thanked his teammate. His teammates response? "You're on my team. What am I supposed to do?"
This reminded me that often in the church, people will try to tear our teammates down. They may even attempt to do so while talking with us. As leaders, we must remember that we are all on the same team and we need to support and stand up for each other. As an understanding among us, the mentality of "you're on my team, what am I supposed to do?" should be the first thought that directs our behaviors.
"I saw a white boy pretending he was a black man."
Jackie Robinson felt defeated and discouraged. As he was airing his frustration with the team's owner, Branch Rickey, Rickey tells Robinson that he had passed a field and saw a little white boy playing baseball. He says "I saw a white boy pretending he was a black man." At this point in history, this was not a common occurrence. Robinson had begun to be seen as a role model...even to white children.
As leaders in ministry, we must live our lives in such a way that those around us want to model us. Leading ethical and moral lives isn't always easy, but when we live differently and above the line, we are worthy of being emulated. I want that for those to whom I minister.
"I saw something unfair at the heart of the game I loved and didn't do enough about it."
Branch Rickey is explaining to Robinson why he had invested in Robinson. Why was he willing to buck the system and risk it all to bring an Afro American in to play baseball at this level? "I saw something unfair at the heart of the game I loved and didn't do enough about it" was Rickey's response. He was recounting how he had at one point in his college career seen an instance of racism and stood by and did nothing to help.
When it comes to ministry, I love it! But, I must be aware of the fact that I have an adversary. It is that battle with the adversary that gets me out of bed in the mornings and causes me to put in long hours or to offer to counsel someone in need. I see the unfairness that he brings and don't want to look back and think one day that I didn't do enough.
How about you? Do you have a movie quote that challenges you in an area of ministry?