Saturday, August 1, 2015

Last Kid Standing

When I was a kid I was always picked last for sports activities. I was short, had big glasses, and wasn't very athletic. Any game that involved picking captains and choosing sides was a nightmare event for me. Sadly, that included most PE activities in elementary and junior high school-especially the dreaded daily game of kickball. There is nothing quite like the pit-in-your-stomach feeling whenever the teacher would announce it was time to pick teams. It was a situation I knew I couldn’t change because I was never going to to be given the chance to prove I was better than they thought. Each person picked before me reinforced the same message: we don’t want you on our team because you’re not good enough.

Physically I’m not the same scrawny, bespectacled kid waiting dejectedly while everyone around me is chosen. That doesn’t mean I’ve kicked that feeling entirely aside either. This is something that carries over into adulthood and periodically stirs up feelings birthed in those moments of exclusion. I admit I still fear rejection and often feel the need to earn favor and position with people. It can become a trap of never believing I am good enough on my own merits, but have to somehow convince people to pick me for their team.

I recognize this internal battle and work fervently to diminish its effect on me. I believe it’s why I’m so drawn to the idea of new beginnings and the constant power of grace. Grace reminds me I don’t have to be good enough to receive it. My value as a person is not reduced based on what others might think of me or how I perceive myself based on my past. Grace is God’s reminder to me that I have value because He loves me. It’s God’s way of choosing me first for kickball not because of what I can do, but simply because He wants me on His team.

I’m learning to be grateful for that grace even when I don’t completely understand it.

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