The feedback from our "At the Movies" series and the coinciding CG Podcast has led us on a path to continue this exploration of the spiritual lessons we can learn from our favorite baseball movies. Enjoy this month's focus on 42!
One of my favorite TED talks of late is “How to stop comparing and start competing” by Brett Ledbetter. In that talk, Ledbetter explains the the word “competition” comes from the Latin root “Competere,” which is translated as “To strive together.” He goes on to explain that “we need other people to push us to a level we could not get to on our own.” These are ideas we all know, but we tend towards Me vs. You instead of Me WITH You.
What kept us from extending the idea of striving together and competing with people of different races? Frankly, it’s probably the same thing that keeps us looking at the guys in the other dugout as the enemy. For me, as a coach, things changed when I stopped to realize that there wouldn’t be a game without them, they they’re there to draw out the best in us, and they’re not trying to take anything from you. They’re there to play and strive together. When you change your perspective in that way, a lot of your perspective will change.
In 42, we see the moment pictured above where Pee Wee Reese, the shortstop of the Brooklyn Dodgers, chooses to be seen with, not against, Jackie. Their relationship is one that I wish the movie had taken the time to delve into deeper. Reese, in many ways, chose the road less traveled and walked with Jackie in life and in the game.
I love how Paul talks about this idea of working together and competing with yourself in Philippians 3:12-17:
“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”
If we could all forget the past and look forward, our race with one another would be so much greater. Let us take these lessons from 42 and make good as we move forward!