Last night I felt like that orange guy. I went to a basketball court to shoot around for about 30 minutes. There used to be a bunch of guys who would occasionally come, but then they seemingly disappeared. (I was told they changed courts.) So, I was expecting to be by myself. Surprise! There were ten guys playing basketball, and there also was one tween who I have shot basketball with a couple times.
I have learned that the unwritten rules of the basketball court is that if someone is waiting to play, they get to play the next game. Without going into these rules too much, once the first game ended I should have had the opportunity to choose a team from those who lost the game. The winners keep playing. But that didn't happen last night. What is strange is that I knew most of these guys, and I have played with them before. Last night I didn't exist. I was that orange guy there outside the circle. After they started the third game, and I saw I had no chance of playing, I left.
I went never expecting to play a game, only to shoot by myself. I had no expectations of playing a game. Yet, when I saw people I knew there, my expectations shot sky high. Those expectations crashed and burned. I wondered what happened. There was no doubt I felt left out.
It would have been better for me emotionally if I would have been there all by myself. However, that is the pain of being left out. It is not so strong if you are by yourself. It is so much more intense when you are with others, especially those you know, but you are not included. Have you ever been that orange guy at a party or at work? Left out hurts.
I told my wife what happened, and she was sympathetic. Even more, I asked God who controls everything what was I to learn from this situation and why did it happen. Was I supposed to learn that these guys I began to know by name were playing at that court again? Was I supposed to learn humility? Was I to learn the disappointment of being left out so that I could identify with others? Was I to identify with him? I know I left God out of my life in many decisions. I know others have also, even as "Christians." My mind finally stopped on this thought, "I wonder how God feels when he is left out."