When I was about nine years old, I got lost in the woods. It was one of the most frightening moments of my life. Thankfully, I avoided Blair Witch or The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon spookiness and backtracked my way to a lake, and then found my way back to the campsite (where I hadn’t even been missed). Despite my fear, I ended the day feeling proud of myself, as if I had grown up just a little bit – in episode five of Blue Spring Ride (Ao Haru Ride), the main characters, who also become lost in a forest, can feel the same.
The major theme of this episode is “growing together through adversity.” Our five leadership students start out by participating in mini-games, getting excited and bonding as they do increasingly well. Then, as they find themselves lost, the group grows even closer as they work together and compromise in trying to find their way out.
The truths about teamwork are plentiful in this episode:
- Teammates help each other. The idea of participation and support occurs right from the get go, when a hesitant Shuko participates in the fruit juice challenge (even if it’s out of selfish reasons). Her help in the contest is invaluable. Later, the teammates support one another in more important situations, as when Ko carries Futuba after her injury and encourages Yuri to cross the stream.
- Teammates will disagree. As individual parts of a body, there are bound to be disagreements (and maybe arguments) in a team. Anything otherwise would more resemble a cult. But hopefully, these skirmishes can be resolved quickly and beyond that, they might even lead to growth and good decisions. Note that what could have been a volatile confrontation between the boys gets resolved quickly as no one fingerpoints, and a plan is soon thereafter hatched.
- Teammates contribute their unique strengths. Each person on a team brings different skills and talents to the table (literally in the fruit challenge, with Ko’s and Shuko’s tastebuds). Even Futuba, who laments that she is unable to help, functions as encourager in getting the team going and trying her best even when hurt.
The application of these ideas works in all sorts of environments, church included. The body of the church is made of unique members working together to strengthen one another in their faith. They should support and help each other with their skills and gifts, while working through disagreements.
Ultimately, as with the Blue Spring Ride kids, the members of the church, when working with a positive and biblical purpose, should help each other most when times are tough. Every Christian goes through pain and hurt, and the body should be there to pick the pained up when they’ve fallen, and indeed, to even help that person grow in times of sorrow, for it is in challenges and difficulties that we’re most able to develop. In this episode, it’s because they get lost that the now battle-tested group bonds.
In our faith, how we respond to challenges is very important, for individuals as well as the body as a whole. Our successes (and failures) teach us and help us when we face the next test. And hopefully, through their experience, the leadership group of Blue Spring Ride is ready as well, as the last couple of minutes from this week’s episode reveal a challenge next week that could have far more damaging potential than simply getting lost.