How many of us remember the ad-hoc choosing of teams in the school yard? "I'll take Jimmy." "I'll take Jane" and so forth until there is a lone person left and chosen by default. There were times when I was growing up that I found myself the last to be chosen. It is an awkward feeling to not be chosen and often hard not to feel the sting of rejection.
God chooses people. We can see numerous examples throughout scripture of God choosing people. There was Moses, Abraham, and Sarah. There was David, Jeremiah, Gideon, Samuel, Jonah, and Isaiah and let's not forget Israel herself! The same is true in the New Testament, and they included Joseph and Mary, John the Baptist, the Twelve and Paul, and all of us - a chosen generation, a royal priesthood.
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; - 1 Peter 2:9
God is still choosing people today. In Christ, we are all chosen. Chosen as sons and daughters, for a relationship. Chosen to be known by and to know God. We are also chosen for special roles and tasks that we were uniquely created to do, in the very places that we find ourselves in daily life. In a very real sense, we get to represent God in the very places that He has placed us to work, to study, in a community and our family. In this way, we become the present gift of God in all of these places, and we simply share the gift that is uniquely us! In the words of Richard Rohr:
God is not primarily choosing them for a role or a task, although it might appear that way. God is really choosing them to be God’s self in this world, each in a unique situation. If they allow themselves to experience being chosen, being a beloved, being somehow God’s presence in the world, they invariably communicate that same chosenness to others.
One of the biggest challenges of the discovery of our chosen-ness is that of competition. When we start to compare our role or task to someone else's, we are at risk of hitting the proverbial pride ditch! The different sides of the same coin; if we deem our gift and calling as being better than someone else's, we hit the ditch. It is just as prideful to judge our calling and gifting as less than someone else's and therefore not as important. Remember, the Kingdom of God is like a body with many parts, and each part needs to do what it is called and gifted for, as best as it can, for the body to function in a healthy way. After all, the feet can't say to the eyes "I don't need you!"
I think it is important that we hear for ourselves that we are chosen, to sense the Lord call our name. Like John, resting His head upon the chest of Jesus and hearing the heartbeat of love, take a few moments now and rest in God. Hear Him say "I choose you" and allow the transformative realization of your chosen-ness to draw you deeper into faith-filled living.
Before I even formed you in your mother’s womb,
I knew all about you.
Before you drew your first breath, I had already chosen you.
- Jeremiah 1:5, The Voice