Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Last weekend one of the things I used to live for took place, with little to no attention being paid to it.

There was a time when the NFL Draft meant just about everything to me. In fact, during my high school days, I happened to be sick the same Tuesday of April all four years of high school in the mid 1980s - the day the NFL held its annual selection of players and aired it on ESPN.

I grew up a sports fanatic. In the fall I played football, in the winter I played basketball, in the spring and summer I played golf and baseball. And I longed for a career in one of those sports.

During those Tuesday's in April in high school, I would dream of what it would be like to be sitting by that phone, waiting for it to ring from one of the NFL's teams. I would dream of what it would be like to here my name called on that day by some announcer on ESPN.

Literally, it was all I thought about. The Major League Baseball draft was a similar dream, though it has never been televised that I am aware of. More fortunate than most, perhaps, I was blessed enough to get to play small college football and baseball and even attended an MLB tryout. I wasn't quite fast enough, didn't quite throw hard enough, was a little too old, and therefore didn't get the chance that day to do what I did best - hit!

The dreams have long since faded of playing in the NFL or in the major leagues, my body couldn't take it and I have found other ways to spend my time - thankfully.

But Saturday, for just a few minutes, I switched the TV onto the draft for about 10 minutes. It hit me as analyst after analyst was poring over each player's statistics, times, body size, character and the like that this has to be an agonizing ordeal for these kids. Many of them have spent their entire life preparing for this one day - the day when they make it or not!

For some, jubilation. For others, heart break. As players plummet down the board and go undrafted, the questions must persist in their mind. Were my numbers not good enough, am I not big enough, strong enough, fast enough, did I make too many bad choices?

It all made me think.

It makes me thankful that I have been drafted, so to speak. But the team I am on isn't concerned with my numbers, with me being smart enough, big enough, strong enough, fast enough. My "General Manager" doesn't even care about the bad choices I have made.

I have made my share of mistakes, but Jesus Christ chose me anyway. He continued to pursue me, and knowing that I have absolutely no qualifications to be on his team other than a heart and desire for Jesus, he made a way.

"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world!," Jesus said in John 16:33.

I reckon we all have/have had trouble - times when we weren't at the top of the draft board. Times when we weren't strong enough, fast enough. Times when we didn't belong on any team, let alone God's team.

But Jesus Christ calls us anyway. He wants us on His team! And when he gets us on his team and gets us excited about the victory that we find in him - in living this life for him each and every day- he asks us to "Go!" and find other people to join the team.

And as we spend more time on his team, the Spirit continues to build in us a desire to spend more and more time with Christ, allowing him to share the finer points of the game with us. In those times he shares more and more of who he is and what he wants for our life. It is in these moments that the game is the best!

I thank and praise God that I don't have to be big enough or strong enough ("My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" - II Cor. 12:9); that my salvation is not based on me ("it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God" - Eph. 2:8); and that all he really wants from me is my heart - that he really just wants my willingness to walk with him and talk with him every moment.

I don't have this "every moment" bit completely figured out just yet. I am human! But the longer I find myself on his team, and the more victories we enjoy together, the deeper he draws me in and the more I desire to be coached - every moment.

Are you still hoping to be drafted? If so, let's talk. If we're on the same team, let's celebrate victory together!

Grace and Peace!


Billy Coffey said...

I'll celebrate that victory with you.

As a guy, I can totally relate to this post. And it's nice to know that I have been drafted, my name has been called, and I'm wearing His number.

Denise said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Denise said...

I just read something by Henri Nouwen today that pointed out in the world to be chosen often means that someone was not - for one reason or another they couldn't make the draft. To be chosen of God is totally different. It is a compassionate - not a competitive choice. People are not excluded or rejected but accepted for all they are or aren't.

I'd rather be drafted (chosen) by God any day.


patty said...

As I read, I couldn't help but think of Rob Bell's "Dust" and the "B-team" disciples! I thank God that despite my average-ness He calls me His own! I'm giving this post to my boys...both of whom were glued to the tv during the draft.
God Bless you, brother :)

Steph said...

We have a great Scout, Head Coach and Special Teams Coach and we know the outcome of the Game - Our Team Wins!!! Praising God that we are on His Team!

Monica said...

Tennis and volleyball and basketball -- I remember all the times my teammates cheered me from the sidelines, and when I cheered them when it was my turn on the bench. Good team. Hi fives. Adrenaline coming out our ears. Pizza parties after victories. Pizza parties after losses! Good team. Thank God, I'm in.

janelle said...

I hold a record for fumbles I'm sure. And what would it be called if I had the football and I was running toward the other team's end zone? Yeah, I might have some of those in my past too.

I love the quote that Denise shared!

Warren Baldwin said...

Great analogy! That is a powerful way to communicate. I like the idea that we've been drafted to the winning team, no matter what our previous "record." Thanks for that. Note: I linked here from Billy Coffey's site. WB

Chris Godfredsen said...

Denise, I love that thought from Henri Nouwen.

Patty, Cool to share with your boys. Sports were such a big part of who I was growing up, I am glad to have my attention diverted another Way.

Warren, thanks for dropping by!

Jennifer said...

What a great post. I love the analogy of being drafted. I don't deserve to be on the team, but I get to be on it anyway.

I also love this comment you left:

"I am glad to have my attention diverted another Way.