It was a day much like today. Breezes blowing. Sun shining. Birds chirping.
We’d been confined indoors for months waiting for the winter to pass. Sitting at desks longing to run and play in the sunshine peeping through the classroom windows.
Today was the day. Recess wouldn’t be in the gym or in the classroom. We were headed outside!
Running, jumping, playing on the swings, see saws, and slides. I could barely contain the tapping of my anxious feet as I watched the time tick by on the clock. A few more minutes…
The bell rang signaling freedom.
We burst through the doors and sprinted to the playground, the sun shining on our jacket-clad backs. I was ecstatic. Spring was here. Summer was coming.
After wearing out the swings, my friends and I decided to play kickball with some older kids.
Dirt swirled as we lined up on the baseball field. Two fifth grade boys stood as team captains – one bouncing the red ball as he perused the line up of available players.
One by one the boys chose.
One by one my friends took their places on a team.
Until…I stood alone. Not chosen. Not picked. Not included.
Finally, a boy assigned my team, not because I was wanted but because someone had to take me.
I was only 10, but I can still hear, smell, and feel that day. Until then, I’d always been chosen. I was smart and sweet – just not athletic. I was chosen by teachers and friends for spelling bees and sleepovers. But, this time?
I never tried another sport, scared I wouldn’t be chosen for the team.
Sadly, I continued living in that space for years. I even live in it some today.
I think…I would love to [insert dream here], but what if they say no? What if they don’t think I’m worthy? I choose not to ask, fearing the answer.
Fearing rejection. Fearing failure.
I don’t want to be the one standing on the baseline while all the others stare back at me.
So, I stay out of the game.
But, we can’t stay out of the game.
We can’t sit on the sidelines, waiting to be chosen. There’s a world who needs us.
We are chosen.
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. 4 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. 5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. Ephesians 1: 3-5
Merriam Webster’s defines chosen as one who is the object of choice or of divine favor: an elect person
You are already selected, elected, and chosen. An object of His divine favor. You don’t have to stand on the sideline and wait for God – or man – to choose you. Through the power of the Spirit living in you, you can choose yourself…
4 We know, dear brothers and sisters,that God loves you and has chosen you to be his own people. 5 For when we brought you the Good News, it was not only with words but also with power, for the Holy Spirit gave you full assurance that what we said was true…1 Thessalonians 1:4-5
In fact, when you’ve been chosen by Him, living on the sidelines and waiting to be chosen, invited, or picked can be disobedient.
Being chosen is a call to action:
12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. 17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. Colossians 3: 12-17
As one commentary explains, God’s choice of you…”the Bible never teaches that it dulls human responsibility. On the contrary, as this verse shows, it is precisely because the Christian has been elected to eternal salvation that he must put forth every effort to live the godly life. Divine sovereignty and human responsibility go hand in hand.”
We can’t sit this life out, waiting. We must clothe ourselves in mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience and enter the mess, allowing for each other’s faults, forgiving when offended or left out.
We must put on love, which will bind us together in community, allowing the peace from Christ to rule in our hearts, being thankful always and in all things.
We must teach and counsel one another in the wisdom He gives us, singing praises to Him with thankful hearts…always remembering – in whatever we do – that we are HIS representatives – HIS CHOSEN.
This life? It’s not a sideline life. While we may still feel unloved, rejected, and left out sometimes, may we choose to live our lives as chosen by Him, especially when not chosen by others.
You’re chosen. Today, tomorrow, forever. Don’t wait any longer for the “day to come” or “the group to include you” – live chosen.