[To gain Christ]
I’ve never been an athlete, so Physical Education was always one of my poorest subjects. I just wasn’t gifted this way. It’s no accident that I was one of those kids who was always picked last for the team.
I Get It
Who wants someone who’s particularly weak and unskilled as a teammate, right? I get this in theory.
However, I can recall my 7th grade teacher having a problem with this particular outlook towards the weak. Being that she was a protective person, she never allowed her students to choose their own team mates. Instead, she’d determine the teams herself.
For the life of me, I can’t remember this teachers name, but her protective nature was very evident; she was actively involved with wheelchair sports, and I can recall her inviting Paralympian Rick Hanson to come and speak to our class. She also encouraged those who were interested in volunteering to sign up to participate in an upcoming wheelchair sports event.
A Special Opportunity
My best friend and I leapt at this opportunity. Though I ended up with sunstroke the day prior to the event, waking feeling quite ill, I was determined that I wasn’t going to miss out on this special event.
Feeling quite green around the gills, I showed up, and I even made a new friend that day. We stayed in contact for a time, but eventually that friendship dissolved. (It was a long distance friendship, and being that I had the tendency to be quite shy myself, I was never very good at small talk.)
Still, this is a great memory to me. I’ll never forget assisting Ron in his wheelchair; he had such a warm and magnetic personality.
A Good Fit
Gym class definitely wasn’t one of favorite subjects, but I did finally find something desirable about this course. On one particular occasion I was instructed to take a position in net.
Even though I found that goaltending places a great deal of pressure and responsibility on you to perform well, it wasn’t long before I realized that I quite enjoyed minding the net. If I had to choose, this would most definitely be the position I’d take! Being that I’m a very protective person, myself, it’s a really good fit for me.
An Unfare Dismissal
To be honest, I can’t recall whether I was doing well in net, but I do remember being dismissed from my position by one of the more assertive girls who informed me that she’d be taking over for me. I couldn’t tell you if it was because she saw me as that weak, unqualified, player (that I truly was), or if she just wanted the position for herself, but this was one of those rare occasions where someone really got under my skin.
Sure it was only P.E., but I’d finally found something redeemable about this class! I wanted to see how I’d fare in net, even if I totally flopped. It was unjust to me that I wouldn’t be given a fair shake. I tried to protest this, but I was the low kid on the totem pole. Apparently, we didn’t get a say.
God Chooses the Weak things of the World
Fortunately, God views weakness very differently and even purposely chooses the weak to shame the strong (1 Corinthians 1:18-26) He gets the say as to who makes the team or not—not His own students.
Our Lord doesn’t discriminate, and He doesn’t disqualify anyone based on their weaknesses; He doesn’t need to–after all, He Himself becomes our strength. Just as my 7th grade teacher cared for the weak, God is just–giving all a fair shake.
“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.” -Psalm 28:7
He Took One for the Team
Jesus willingly carried the cross that He was nailed to, taking the penalty for our sins. God is the team Owner, our Coach and even our Assistant Coach. Those of us who believe in Jesus have been bought with His precious blood (1 Corinthians 6:20)
Therefore, all who accept a place on His team are viewed as valuable players, having earned nothing through skill or popularity. Instead, this is a gift that is freely given to us by the grace of God.
“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in His grace, freely makes us right in His sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty for our sins.” -Romans 3:23-24
Whatever we do we should work at it with all our heart as working for the Lord, not human masters (Colossians 3:23). He has a position on the team that only you can uniquely fill.
Those of us in Christ belong to the winning team. We can go ahead and count all things but loss in comparison to the worth of knowing our Lord. Let’s live like we do by following His example, giving thanks, rejoicing always, and glorifying His name.
“What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ” –Philippians 3:8