It was during 6th grade PE class. We were choosing teams for softball, and Cathy, the prettiest, most popular, and most athletic girl was one of the captains.
As she and the other captain sized up the class and began selecting their teams, I was passed over time and time again. Skinny, with glasses and long gangly arms and legs, I certainly didn't exude athletic prowess.
To Cathy's relief, there was an odd number of players, and I was chosen last by the other team captain. I could almost hear her sigh of relief at being spared the embarrassment of having me on her team.
I was assigned to right field--the spot that seldom sees any action. Most balls are hit into left field by right-handed hitters, so I'm sure my captain thought it was the safest place for the player least likely to succeed. After all, if a ball never came my way, I certainly couldn't miss a catch, right?
She forgot one very important fact: Cathy was a left-handed hitter.
As she stepped up to the plate and oriented her body toward right field, I could see her triumphant, confident grin. She knew she consistently hit the ball into right field. She also knew I was the only player standing between her and at least a double, maybe even a home run.
I could hear my captain's groan as she realized her fatal error.
Cathy confidently raised her bat, the pitcher released the ball, and she connected with a loud crack, sending the ball straight toward me.
More out of self-defense than anything else, I stuck the glove in front of my face, closing my eyes until I felt the sharp "twack" of the softball hitting my glove. I opened my eyes to the wide-mouthed look of disbelief on Cathy's face and the cheers of my teammates.
It was a grand and glorious moment.
The next day in PE class, Cathy picked me first.
You may feel like I did on that first day of PE class. You may feel sorely lacking in skills, personality, or giftedness. You may look around at others who seem to be everything you are not and feel passed over. If you do, God has some words of encouragement for you.
"Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things-- and the things that are not-- to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him" (1 Corinthians 1:26-30).
If you are feeling foolish, weak, lowly, or despised, take heart. God has chosen you for both His kingdom and for His work.
Welcome to the team!
Read about Lori and her recently published book on the Lead Writers' Page.