Monday, October 14, 2013

Team building

Picture this....
elementary school
kick ball game

two teams
two captains..... always the most popular and athletic of the bunch
all the kids line up against the backstop
the captains are standing together on the field
and the picking of teams begins

no one wants to be the last one picked
everyone wants to play
this is a kids game
no adult referees
no adults to make sure things are fair or that no feelings get hurt
I know that I am not going to be one of the first picked
that honor goes to the bigger kids
the ones who are already on a team outside of school
the fast ones
the ones that are friends with the captain
the ones with the new shoes and nice lunch boxes

I am part of the rag tag group at the end of the picking
this is where the captains, with the teams already selected
begin to figure out...
Who can I pick from this "left-over" group?
Who will do the least amount of damage to my team?

All I can hope for is not to be picked last
or worse, be the odd one out and become the score keeper
or even worse, stand on the side lines and watch
because no one wanted me

You see,
I had no kick ball skills, I could do a mean cartwheel
I was small, which came in handy for hide and seek
I had nothing to prove that I was up for the task

There was always a grateful relief once I was picked
I was willing to do whatever the captain asked
because he picked me

You with me?

Now picture this...
same scenario....
two captains getting ready to make their selections
all the rest of us lined up against the back stop
the first captain picks the fastest kid on the playground
the second captain's first pick is me
the first captain's second pick is his best friend
the second captain's pick is a kindergartner in flip flops
the first captain picks the smartest kid in school for his third pick
the second captain picks a kid who limps
the first captain picks the kid who plays little league baseball
the second captain picks the kid who makes odd noises in class

at this point, no one understands what is going on
has the second captain gone crazy?
doesn't he know what game we are playing?
even the kids he has picked, although grateful, don't understand
he picked a loser team
there is no way we can win
we have no skills
what is he up to?

I am a visual person
when I read the Bible, I try to imagine myself there
I use pictures in my mind to help me understand how it might apply to me

I have been studying the book of Matthew with some of my girlfriends
one thing that struck all of us is how Jesus picked his team
the men that would make up his disciples

Odd by mans standards
certainly not the way we or anyone we know would have picked a team

It made no earthly sense
a tax collector
an accountant

no apparent "gifting" to help the team with their goals
balance of personalities?
skill set?

Even as adults,
the things that we look to most when planning to implement something
does not line up with the model Jesus used to spread the gospel.

for those of us who feel less than skilled
who are not sure that we have anything to offer

Jesus sees us differently
the ones the world picks last
the "left-overs"

He does not want or need us for what skills or natural abilities we can bring
He does not want or need us to beef up his team
He does not want or need us to make Him stronger

He just wants us
He just wants us to trust Him
He just wants us to trust that He knows what He is doing

like those He originally called to join His team
Matthew 4:20
immediately leave what occupies our hands and follow Him

This is a huge lesson for me right now
for, I feel more comfortable doing things within my natural skill set

but that is not what Jesus is asking of me
He is going to give me what I need to accomplish what He has for me to do.
Matthew 10:19 is a great encouragement
" not be anxious about how or what you will speak; 
for it shall be given you in that hour what you are to speak."

In context Jesus is talking about when the disciples will find themselves 
in situations where they are being persecuted and need to testify. 
But later on in the passage is where we get the verses that talk about 
how aware He is of who they are (10:29-31)
and what they are up against. 
He encourages by reminding that He is there 
and has all the details worked out as they go about sharing the Good News.

Don't you want to be on His team?
I do
to know that my captain is going to give me all I need, after I am on the team!
He has a plan to mold me and enable me
He does not need me, but He wants me
He wants to make me better

Who wouldn't want that?

Matthew 4:9, 8:22, 9:9, 10:38, 16:24, 19:21, 19:28
Mark 1:17, 2:14, 8:34, 10:21
Luke 5:27, 9:23, 9:59, 18:22
John 1:43, 8:12, 10:27, 12:26, 21:19, 21:22

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