Thursday, September 27, 2012


Asherel and her friend Josh assembled an awesome Destination Imagination team. I am their manager. What i love most about DI vs. Science Olympiad is that the coach doesn't have to do anything! I don't have to learn incomprehensible material like how helicopters fly and then spend hours nagging the team to build a better helicopter than thousands of other kids. In DI, my main role is to promote creativity, keep bloodshed to a minimum, and stay out of the process as much as possible. And I get to devise maniacally difficult mini Instant Challenges each week where they take common objects and try to solve a usually near impossible technical problem using only those objects. Since this is exactly the way my brain thinks- do things cheaply and creatively with lack of any expertise- it is tailor made for me to manage. I have learned that there are critical roles to any successful team that I never realized were essential.

For example, we have one team member who unfailingly knows when something probably won't work. He seems discouraged at times that he doesn't know what to do to make it work, but he is often correct in his assessment of what won't work. What makes this an invaluable help to a team in a timed situation is if he can learn to use this skill well, it will save the team from running down rabbit trails. They can focus on what will work instead. It is an enormous time saver.

Another team member loves to talk, and entered the group wondering if she had any skill of any use. Well, lo and behold, her insatiable curiosity that spurs her love of talking with others also fuels incessant and very excellent questions. The questions she asks the others always spur them on to better solutions.

Another is very quiet and reflective, and less apt to jump in and grab the materials and have at it. But she is always watching and thinking and notices details, so when something the team makes lacks some crucial detail, she is often the one to chime in with what is needed. She also can take an idea and create a skit instantly to fit any situation.

Then the rest are the workhorses- the tinkerers and builders. One is a magnificent artist and can create a recognizable object out of anything. Another is a "big picture" guy who sees where the discordant elements all need to end up. Another is gifted scientifically and knows intuitively how to engineer his ideas.

This magnificent team that I am so blessed to guide reminds me of humankind, and more specifically the body of Christ-followers. All of us have a part. Not a single part can be discarded without affecting all other parts. I think we often make the mistake of believing our part is unimportant, not crucial, and we grow discouraged that our contribution is insignificant. I think that is a portion of what God is trying to tell us when he says not a sparrow falls to the ground without His notice. We are all inextricably interlinked and every one of us matters. We were meant to work together, with whatever unique skill God has granted us, for the good of the whole.

I loved what one team member said when I went over what I felt each had contributed to the solution they arrived at in the mini Instant Challenge-
"Wow...I didn't think I was doing anything..."
In a way, it was a cry I think most of us utter at times: Do I really matter?
Oh beloved, God tells us, without you there would be a gap exactly your shape and size breaking the circle.

2 Chronicles 31:10,21 (NIV)
and Azariah the chief priest, from the family of Zadok, answered, “Since the people began to bring their contributions to the temple of the Lord, we have had enough to eat and plenty to spare, because the Lord has blessed his people, and this great amount is left over.” [21] In everything that he undertook in the service of God’s temple and in obedience to the law and the commands, he sought his God and worked wholeheartedly. And so he prospered.

-save a dog-

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