I often dreaded recess in sixth grade. It was that time of day when we weren’t required to be in a classroom with others unlike us. This was the time of day when everyone gravitated to their closest friends and those who were most like themselves. Everyone seemed to have their group while there were a few of us too scared to say hello or be a part of any group. We would just try to hide or blend in. However, there were those few days that someone came up with the “brilliant” idea that everyone should play a game of kickball together – everyone.
Team captains would be chosen from our elite sixth grade athletic “medalists.” The powerful and strong would be selected first, often followed by the attractive females who had to be dazzled by the team leaders’ exquisite participant choices of course. Then there was me and the other guy or girl. We were the non-athletic and ungainly, the quiet and the divergent, the last and the listless. Every once in a while, there would be that cordial kid who didn’t want to make me feel bad, give me a wink, and say “I’ll take him. He’s cool.” That would have been more comforting if there had been more than two amateurs left to pick from and by cool I’m pretty sure he meant “not too hot.”
I always felt like a misfit. I was often called a wimp. Even if it wasn’t entirely true, I felt like no one cared. I do know that no one really knew what I was feeling inside. I felt alone and I felt unwanted. I was not athletic and so at times I didn’t feel manly. My dad was never around and my mom struggling with so much hurt that I didn’t want to bother her with my questions and worriment. All I wanted to be was chosen.
On most nights I’d have to confront my own inner “demons” of self-hatred and fear before I could fall asleep. My creative imagination assisted me and sometimes the music on the radio sustained me. I’ll never forget one particular night. I crawled into bed, pulled my covers up under my chin, and turned to my stereo for comfort. Maybe a little Wonder, Manilow, or Kool and his Gang would help get my mind off of life and my impending despair. That’s when I heard Don Bartlette’s life story “Macaroni at Midnight.” It was during this broadcast that I realized the one thing that would forever change my life. Jesus made a profound statement in John 15 and it was like he was saying it just to me: “You did not choose me. I CHOSE YOU.”
He chose me? He wants me? He has picked me for His team!? For the first time in my life I realized there was purpose and that I was wanted, needed, accepted, loved, cherished, masculine and chosen!!
Are you feeling down today? Are you wondering about your purpose and His plan? Are you standing and waiting to be noticed, wanted or cherished? Are you worried about your manliness because someone told you that your demeanor, talents, or personality just didn’t fit within the masculinity box? PLEASE, take a moment and let the words of Christ sink in that He chose YOU! Never forget that you are special in His eyes. He loves you and you are chosen. What did He choose us to do? He chose us to “bear fruit,” to be like Him, to spread the love and let others know that they too have been chosen!