Chosen First

When I was a kid growing up on the playground, the time would come to “choose up” teams. Two captains (the alpha males of the playground) got to choose their respective squads. Although I was never chosen last I always dreaded the possibility of being chosen last and felt terribly sorry for the ones chosen last.

On May 30, 2015, the NFL will hold its nationally televised annual draft over a three-day period. It’s a big event. Every year since 1976, the last man chosen was given the title, “Mr. Irrelevant”. The current Mr. Irrelevant is safety Lonnie Ballentine of the Memphis Tigers, who was selected by the Houston Texans as pick number 256 of the 2014 draft.

Being the last pick for an athletic team is a horrible experience. Entertainer Garrison Keilor recalls the childhood pain of being chosen last for the baseball teams.

“The captains are down to their last grudging choices: a slow kid for catcher, someone to stick out in right field where nobody hits it. They choose the last ones two at a time—‘you and you’—because it makes no difference.

And the remaining kids—the scrubs, the excess—they deal for us as handicaps. ‘If I take him, then you gotta take him,’ they say. Sometimes I go as high as sixth, usually lower. But just once I'd like Darrel to pick me first and say, ‘Him! I want him! – The skinny kid with the glasses and the black shoes. You, c'mon!’ But I've never been chosen with much enthusiasm.”*

Being chosen last is a bummer.

In direct contrast, it is so incredible to know that when it comes to God, we are chosen by Him at the very outset, never having to linger around until the end. Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:4 “…just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.”

We are chosen by God to be His children from the very beginning. I guess you could say that we got chosen first and as a result, we are never irrelevant.

Something to think about…

P.S. As an adult, whenever I was a part of choosing up teams, I would have everyone pair up with someone of equal ability and then we would just divide up the pairs to form two teams and it didn’t matter who went first or last since the teams would be equal.

* Van Morris, Shepherdsville, Kentucky; source: Robert Russell, The Southeast Christian Church Outlook (6-8-00), Louisville, Kentucky