[To gain Christ]
I’ve never been an athletic person; therefore, Physical Education was always one of my poorest subjects. I just wasn’t gifted this way, so it’s no accident that I was one of those kids who was always picked last for the team. (Who wants a player who’s particularly weak and unskilled as a teammate, right?) I get it in theory. In theory it does make some sense. However, I recall that my 7th grade teacher saw a problem with this. To avoid any student being singled out for reasons of weakness, both physically or socially, she always picked the teams herself. (Evidently this act is something that made an impression on me).
On one particular occasion during gym class, I was instructed by whomever was the team captain, 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, I soon came to realize I enjoyed minding the net. If I had to choose, this would most definitely be the position I’d pick: protecting the net and stopping the goals. Being protective by nature, it’s a good fit for me.
To be honest, I don’t remember whether I was doing well in net or not, but I do remember being pulled out of my position by one of the more assertive girls, who told me she’d be taking over. I couldn’t tell you if it was because she saw me as that weak unqualified player, or if she just wanted the position for herself; but this was one of those rare occasions where someone got under my skin. Sure it was only Gym, but I’d found something redeemable about this class, and I wanted to see how I’d do with it. (Even if I flopped.) It was unjust that I’d never been given a fair shake. I tried to protest, but I was the low kid on the totem pole, so I apparently didn’t get a say.
Fortunately, God views weakness very differently and even purposely chooses the weak to shame the strong (1 Corinthians 1:27). Our Lord doesn’t discriminate, and He doesn’t disqualify us based on our weakness; He doesn’t need to; He is our strength. Like my grade 7 teacher, 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
Jesus willingly carried the cross that He’d be nailed to, taking the penalty for our sins, making God both Coach, and team Owner, for we’ve been bought with the blood of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 6:20). Therefore, all who accept a place on His team are viewed as valuable players in His eyes, having earned nothing through skill or popularity. Instead, it’s a gift that is freely given 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
Scripture tells us that 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, so every little thing you do for His glory counts. We belong to the winning team, so we can count all things but loss in comparison to the worth of knowing our Lord Jesus. Let’s live like we do–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