Have you ever felt like you are standing with your hand waving in the air, ‘pick me, pick me?’ Maybe as adults we don’t really do that but I think we all have that desire to be picked. Chosen. We ask: Pick me for the job. Pick me because I have something valuable to offer. And sometimes it seems that everyone else is getting ‘picked’ except for you.
I can remember those school play yard games where two kids were picked as ‘captains’ for a rousing game of dodgeball and then proceeded to pick team members. I hated those days.
I was usually the last of the kids picked. It could be because I hated the thought of throwing a ball– hard!–on purpose at someone and having it thrown–hard!–at me. Ouch!
It’s not that I didn’t try at athletics. In middle school I tried track, basketball, and volleyball. I discovered I didn’t like running. Ugh. And I really didn’t like having a ball flying through the air at me. That ball always seemed to connect with my nose as evidenced by a permanent black and blue mark across the bridge of my nose that shows up when I am exhausted. I know, I know…my hands are for catching the ball, not my face.
But really? I think it was those traumatizing days of school yard dodge ball that made me hate trying to catch a ball or toss one over the net. Suffice it to say–I was not in the first round pick or the second or the third, but dead last. I tried not to let it hurt, I mean I completely understand why I wasn’t picked first, but being last? over and over? It felt like rejection to me. I was in a different elementary school every year, and every year became a year I could ‘start over’, but the outcome was the same: ‘last pick’.
It’s funny how we carry childhood wounds and hurts into our adult lives, some of those wounds being pretty obvious, but the innocuous ones, the ones that are easy to hide beneath bravado and arrogance and pride and independence, those are the ones that affect our lives in a subtle, but significant way.
One of the ways this epidemic of being picked last in is evidenced in the difficulty in accepting the truth that I am chosen by God–because he wants me not because he has to.
‘For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight,’ Ephesians 1:4. How about if we replace the pronoun ‘us’ with our name? What if we read it like this: ‘For he chose Jessica in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight’. Try reading it with your name in place of the ‘us’. What is your reaction? When I first allowed that truth to be revealed to me, I followed it with a ‘but…’.
But as I go deeper with God, this truth becomes something I cannot ‘but’ away, but need to face head on and decide if I am going to embrace this truth that God chose me, long before I raised my arm, waving, ‘pick me, pick me’. For this truth to become embraceable I need to lay aside the identity of ‘last pick’ and decide that God’s opinion is ultimately the most important one there is to cling to. He calls me chosen.
He picked me. He picked you. Long ago. Before we even got to the playground of life we were ‘picked’. Chosen. That’s part of your identity. That’s part of mine. That’s one of the words we should hear when we look into that mirror. Will you open your ears to hear that truth or are you stuck following it with a ‘but…’.
Friends, I pray that you will embrace ‘chosen’ as part of your identity and if embracing chosen is an area where you are strong in, find someone to encourage in that truth. Tell them God chooses them. Tell them that God picks them first. I’ll go first….
You are picked! By our loving, loving God. In fact he says:
I choose you. Embrace the truth as I embrace you.
All my love,