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One Out of Ten

It’s not my job.

Someone else will do it.

Who cares, I’m ticked off right now.

Serves them right, I’m the one who got the raw deal.

These are the things most people (and athletes) would think after a last second loss due to a controversial call. But not Jamal Shead. He was one out of ten (or so) guys on the nationally ranked University of Houston Basketball team. When his coach and teammates threw chairs and knocked over a trash can as they stormed off the court he stood there and humbly waited to pick up each piece of garbage. Watch it here:

It’s almost a cliche now but true leaders are those who know they are never too big to serve. The New Zealand All Blacks captains who “sweep the sheds” after each game. Hall of Fame Coach John Wooden walking around picking up trash in the locker room so his managers wouldn’t have to. Super Bowl Champion Ed Reed calling up his teammates to clean up after themselves and picking up their towels to teach them to act like winners in the small things [1]. You want to be great like these guys? Start small with something no one else wants to do, roll up your sleeves and get to work.

The Thankful One

The way Shead reacted reminds me of an example we learn from Jesus in Luke 17: 11-19

“As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. As he entered a village there, ten men with leprosy stood at a distance, crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy. One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!” He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you.””

A Call to Action

Where in your life have you forgotten to go back and say thanks to God? Every day we take so many little things for granted. Today stop what you’re doing, slow down and be the one that stands out for being righteously different. See the person who needs help and jump in to serve them. Do something kind for a friend or even a total stranger because of how blessed you feel today. Lead by example and inspire those around you to do the same.

As a coach I can count on one hand the kids who came up after each hard practice to say thank you this season, for example. When you are worn out from a full day and left all you had out on that field there is nothing more meaningful. Who can you thank today? Who would you regret not taking the time to go back to? Don’t wait too long, stop and do it now.

A Class Act

I’m really proud of Jamal Shead and I think Jesus would say the same thing. We all have choices like Jamal did every day. Do we choose the convenient way or the way that honors God? The choice is ours to make and may be an example to someone around us. Like the one out of ten lepers, Shead honored God in his small act and for that alone he is a winner in my book regardless of what the final score says. Thank you for shining a light, and I pray we all lead like you did and praise God in the process today.

[1] Not only did Ed Reed call up his players to clean up after themselves but it helped inspire them to win a Super Bowl that year;


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