Friday, October 16, 2009

Picked Last (Jason)

In third grade, Nick was always the one to pick teams for kickball. He was the best. No one ever got him out. He had the ability to turn himself into a “U” to avoid a screaming, red, rubber ball as he rounded first headed for home. Had Nick not been captain, he would have been picked first. I, a very late bloomer, was always picked last. I hated the process for picking teams for kickball. Not being a good student either, it was just another arena in which to suffer. Many years later, after high school, I came into my own athletically. I excelled at certain sports and this slowly became my identity. In my mind, I was Jason, the athlete. So, when a group of kids threatened this image I became terribly insecure.

Tuesday afternoon soccer class had low attendance. So, with only a few kids, I played (which I do not usually do) so that we could have sufficient numbers. We divided teams. After teams are divided comes the process of picking a goalie. As is customary, we number ourselves and have someone neutral pick a number at random. There is no one neutral besides Jeremy. So, we number ourselves (Jason-1, Elbom-2, Cascao-3, Andre-4). Jeremy picks …3. Phew! I dodged that bullet, I think. I don’t have to be goalie. However, before I can even relish in the though of not having to play the whole game in the goal, the other three guys on my team point to me and yell “three”.

It was not that I did not want to be goalie so much as the way that the boys went about “telling” me they wanted me to be goalie. My feelings were really hurt. My ego was threatened. I wanted to lash out. I wanted to punch Cascao, number 3. I wanted to quite working with undeserving wretches and pack up to come home.

I recognize that this is all incredibly juvenile. I should inform the reader that I am not going to quit. I no longer want to hit Cascao. In fact I believe that I have grown in several ways through this experience. First, I hope that God will heal me from my ego. Also, I realize that my savior was mistreated in ways that Mel Gibson and I will never understand. Had he not suffered I would have given up a long time ago. His suffering gives me endurance. Finally, I know that God loves these kids more than I do and it is my hope that God will love these kids through me. Please pray with us that God would use us to be a conduit of God’s love and grace to these kids.

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