In elementary school through junior high, when it was time to play any kind of team sport or activity, one child was selected to be the leader/captain of the team and then given the privilege of choosing the players they wanted on their teams. The selection process was determined by #1 if you were their friend, and #2 if you could play the game well. The adult overseeing the process never intervened (in my experience) to make sure that the teams were composed of equally skilled players. The children who were known to be good players were most often chosen to be the leaders of the teams, and the other talented ones were confident they would be chosen in the first few rounds of selection. Those who were neither friends of the leaders nor good players waited, ever hopeful they would be chosen quickly so as not to be the last one standing. The last person was placed on the team with the last pick, not because the leader wanted them but because someone had to take them.
If the leader of the team loved the game and wanted to win, they would often choose the good players before their friends. The goal was to win. This leader almost always completely ignored the expectant faces of those who desperately wanted to be chosen, but would not bring much skill to the team. If by some chance the unskilled player was the leader, they always filled their teams with the other children they liked. It didn’t matter whether or not they played well, and they often put together a team with no possible chance of winning the game.
I was sometimes chosen first, sometimes in the middle, and sometimes last. I was rarely the leader. It was wonderful when I was chosen first, acceptable when chosen somewhere in the middle, and excruciating when chosen last. I knew if I was chosen last that #1 they didn’t like me, or #2 they didn’t think I could play well. Either way, it was tough to take.
For most of my life I viewed my place on God’s “team” as the one He had to take. Not because I was the only one left, but because He’s God and He has to love everyone. I never felt He was particularly pleased with me and saw my skills at this game of life severely lacking.
It was at a very desperate time in my life when I made the decision to just believe God. Whatever He said. When He said He loved me, He meant it. When He said He had chosen me, He meant it. When He said He would be the closest, most loyal friend I could ever have, He meant it.
“O brethren beloved by God, we recognize and know that He has selected – chosen – you…” 1 Thessalonians 1:4
“Clothe yourselves therefore, as God’s own chosen ones, who are purified and holy and well-beloved by God Himself…” Colossians 3:12
God is not looking to build His kingdom with those who are the best players. He’s not worried about our lack of skills; He actually builds a better team when those that want to play recognize they have a lot to learn. And unlike the disengaged PE teachers I had, He is a constant coach and guide. He calls us to Him to be recognized as His own. He knows exactly how the game is to be played and will not let us fail.
You have been chosen. Just say yes.