On the other hand, not long ago I was there with a different set of guys, and I was not chosen. I hung out at the court watching the games occurring and the teams changing, and I was never chosen. I did not even know how the teams were chosen. But since I did not know anybody, and I probably looked like an old white guy in their eyes, I was not invited to play. I was not chosen. I was rejected. Not included. Left out. Have you ever been there? I was not totally dejected by being rejected, because I realize it's "all in who you know." And, part of my goal is to get to know people.
By the way, on the way to the court yesterday I saw one of the young teens I had played basketball with walking down the street. He waved. He recognized me and waved! (No, I am not sure if I waved first or if he did, but either way, he waved. Keep in mind some teens, don't lift a hand.) I got to know him more than some of these other guys, because there was 4 or 5 of us shooting ball. It was easier to connect with him, especially since I had the only ball, and he and couple of his friends asked to play with me.
I am trying to cross barriers through basketball, the common bond. I have experienced different responses to those social barriers of age, ethnicity, socioeconomics, and so much more. I have been chosen, rejected, and recognized. I have experienced the joys and the sorrows. If I want to cross the barriers, I have to be patient and be willing to experience the rejection. But I am told that to cross certain barriers, you need to be present. It all begins with presence. How can I climb a mountain if I am not at the foot of the mountain? How can I get to know these young men unless I am there?
Of course, the ultimate sense of being chosen comes not from people but from God. He has revealed to me what Jesus has accomplished. For a while, I rejected what he showed me. But he was patient and he was gracious and he was present. Finally, I received his invitation to follow his Son and to be connected with Him through Jesus- the one who crossed many barriers for us.
Chosen! Selected! Desired! Wanted! Through faith in Jesus that is what we are! Amazing!