Every player on the Oregon Ducks football team slaps a sign above their head as they take the field for home games. The sign says, “Win the Day.” This mantra has become a rallying cry for the team, fans, and coaches. According to former Ducks head coach Chip Kelly this is what it means: "To me, it means you take care of what you can control, and what we can control is today," Kelly said. "I think people too often look way down the road - you know, 'I want to do this, I want to do that, I want to be conference champion, national champion.' If you don't take care of today, that's not going to happen."
Whether you love football, hate football, love the Ducks, or hate the Ducks, their football team won more games (60!) than any team in the country between 2010-2014.
What about you? Does your family have a rallying cry? And do they know what this cry means?
I remember the day our rallying cry hit us. Team Williams was on our way to the Simonka House women’s shelter to serve as a family. We were getting ready to load into our 1999 Suburban, known as Big Blue, when we stopped to pray for the women we were about to meet. At the end of the prayer we put our hands in the middle like a team getting ready to take the field. I decided to finish us us off with a Team Williams cheer. We pushed our hands down in unison as we all yelled “Team Williams!” The unexpected beauty of kids’ minds at work kicked in, and as we brought our hands up into the air our three girls all yelled “Teamwork!” My wife and I looked at each other with a big grin, and it stuck.
Team Williams = Team Work. Team work for us means that everyone participates, everyone benefits, and everyone sacrifices. Believe me, we are not all work and no play, but the idea that our family is a team, and our team has work to do has been awesome. After our time making new friends with the women at the homeless shelter, we decided that Christmas day would be a day for team work as well.
Enter Christmas Day. Some big-hearted friends of ours named DJ and Gabby started a Christmas program called “Room at The Inn.” Room at the Inn provides two nights lodging with amazing meals, inspiring messages, new jackets, and games galore for 80 homeless folks at a camp just outside Salem, Oregon. Room at the Inn finishes up on Christmas day, and they needed people to come in and help clean up camp. This was a time for, “Team Williams, Team Work.” We woke up on Christmas morning for biscuits and gravy, stockings, and presents. Then we loaded into Big Blue and headed over to Room at the Inn.
We cleaned tables, picked up garbage and swept floors with our little family of five. It would have been easier to simply stay at home that morning, and it would have been easier to just let the kids play while Araya Sunshine and I do the cleaning work, but that’s not who we are, that’s not what our rallying cry is about.
Jesus said, “Truly whatever you did for one of the least of these of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
With Thanksgiving here and Christmas just around the corner, there is plenty of need all around us. The rallying cry has helped our family be more intentional, have more fun, and live a better story. The Oregon Ducks chose "Win The day" Team Williams chose "Team Work." Now it is your turn, what are you going to choose? Here are two questions that might help you.
- What makes your family unique? Our family has a strong athletic background, so that’s why our rallying cry fits us. Your rallying cry should fit your family.
- What is one thing your family can do together this holiday season? Rallying cries often surface as you do something together.