I always wanted to be a successful basketball player when I was a kid. I loved the game, and still do. Before I reached junior high school, I had a pretty decent church league basketball career going. Those were fun times for me on the court.
Then I tried out for my school's basketball team in the sixth grade. I got cut at tryouts. Didn't make the team. It really hurt.
The next year I tried out again as a seventh grader. I got cut again. The coach didn't think I could play on his team. Two years in a row of rejection did not feel good at all.
In my eighth grade year, I tried out once more. Guess what? I made the team. The coach gave me a uniform. I got to practice and go to all the games.
I was a benchwarmer. The coach had me sit on the bench most of that season. It was a frustrating experience for me.
After that season, I decided to just have fun with my buddies in the student section at the games. That was way more enjoyable for me. And I didn't have to torture myself by running suicide sprints in the Thomas Sumter Academy gym any more!
Looking back on that, I realize the coach probably did the right thing. Most likely I thought I was better at basketball than I really was. And I understand he needed to win games with his best players. So it's ok. No hard feelings.
Here's the great thing about being a Christian and joining God's team: Everybody plays a role, and nobody is a benchwarmer. Regardless of whether we're male, female, rich, poor, educated, or a school dropout, we can join in on the action and participate in God's work around the world.
God invites us to befriend the lonely, feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, protect the defenseless, encourage the grieving, and evangelize the unsaved. He allows us to be His hands and feet in this world. What a huge privilege it is to be on God's team! None of us have to sit on the sidelines of life and watch the select spiritual superstars do everything. All of us have the thrilling opportunity to join God's redemptive work and make a positive difference in our homes, schools, workplaces, and churches.
I'm happy to be on God's team. And I realize that if I get in on the action, use the talents He has given me, and follow His game plan, exciting things can happen. And maybe, just maybe, one day He could look at me and say, "Well done, good and faithful servant."
And the same is true for you, my friend.