“It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.”
– Ephesians 1:11-12 (MSG)
Long before we first heard of Christ – we were chosen.
I’m not a great athlete. I’m not even a good athlete. I know what it is to be chosen last for a team in PE class – really, chosen by default because you’re the only one left and neither team captain wants you but they’’ll get in trouble with the teacher if they argue over who gets the skinny girl with glasses again.
I also know what it is to compete, though. I may not be an athlete, but you bet I want to win. Monopoly was banned in my house for awhile when I was a teenager because my dad and I got way too into it. There was shady money lending going on, under-the-table exchanges of properties, and an argument that resulted in a classic moment of flipping the board, pieces scattering and fake money floating in the air. (I will neither confirm nor deny that I was the person who flipped the board).
So thinking about not being chosen – and thinking about choosing to chase after ridiculous things like Monopoly bragging rights – my attention is grabbed by the idea that Christ chose me.
When nobody else would choose me, Christ looked at me and said, “She’s mine. I love her.” And He keeps saying that, keeps claiming me as His own.
It’s worth looking at the Greek word used here, klēróō (klay-ro-o). This word does mean chosen, but it also means more than chosen. It means that we are made heirs. There is an inheritance that now belongs to us by right of being chosen, by being adopted, by God.
What is that inheritance?
That sounds abstract, I know. Isn’t an inheritance supposed to be something like money, or jewels, or a big house? How can God be an inheritance?
I have lived my life with a persistent sense of not belonging. The lack of place. Of being a square peg trying to fit into the proverbial round hole. My heart aches again, with this same old wound that never seems to close. Times of transition will do that I think. Poke at your biggest hurts and dig up your deepest fears.
So I have to come back to this fact that God chose me.
And that God is the treasure.
That Jesus – only Jesus – is what I’m really looking for.
Are you tired? Are you worn out?
And so I’m back here. Back in this familiar place. Sitting down on a old tree stump nestled on the side of a narrow trail that seems to wind endlessly up a mountain the top of which I can’t see. Telling myself as I’ve told others: Jesus chose you yesterday, chooses you today, and will you choose tomorrow, not because you’re so fabulous but because He wants to.
Every day. Every moment.
He’s just like that.
Sometimes I don’t choose me. It’s not just other people around me. I slump on that stump, head in my heads, and wonder why I can’t seem to do or be the things that others can be and do. I belittle what and who I am, and what I’ve done by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit within me. We’re trained to do that. Even in the Church, which should be and know better. There’s always a sense of having to earn your spot. Of trying to figure out how to break in.
Jesus is there with me. He doesn’t try to rush me through my questions or my anger. He affirms what is unjust and painful. I’ll be here with Him for a while. I’m not ready to start sprinting up that mountain trail yet. He’s okay with that. He gently prompts me to lift my head and notice some moss growing on the side of a tree. A late-blooming wildflower.
To notice Him.
It’s not what Jesus provides that’s the treasure. It’s Him.
All the holy grace and goodness and love in the cosmos with me. And I with God.
GRACE AND PEACE ALONG THE WAY,
Image Courtesy of Edward Howell