"Ooh, ooh, I will this time!"
"Me too, I'll be the other one!"
"You pick first."
"Okay, I choose Andy. Now you get two picks, go ahead."
"I get. . . Luke and Zach."
"My turn. Let's see. . . I'll take Philip and Becky."
Sound familiar? This could have been a conversation recorded right out of my childhood. I grew up around boys, and we were always "choosing teams." I'm sure you can remember which kid you were . . . whether the one who was always, without fail, picked first. Or one of the kids chosen somewhere in the middle. Or perhaps you were the one who was an afterthought. . . the conversation went, "Are we all done? Let's start the game. . . Oh wait, she (or he) is left. Well I guess you can have her (or him). Now let's go play!" (Growing up, I was never this child, but as a teenager, volleyball has effectively placed me in this role. lol)
A funny thing though, is that I have found this theme of choosing continues throughout teenage life, and I anticipate that it will play a part in my adult life too. We have to pick who we are friends with. . . apply to and get chosen by the "right" college or university. . . decide where to live, what things to buy, who to marry. . . the list goes on. As Christians, we might be tempted to tell people that choosing to follow God was the most important decision we ever made. But I beg to differ. . .
John 15:16-17 states:
I John 4:10-11
I Peter 2:9-10
A friend of mine is in a Bible study that is discussing the Holy Spirit. A conversation with him several weeks ago has gotten me thinking more and more about the Holy Spirit and his role in our lives. So last night, I asked Dad, "Would salvation be possible without the Holy Spirit?"With a incredulous expression, he looked at me and said, "Well that's a silly question!" (Were you thinking the same thing?) I was shocked. Dad was educated as a teacher, and he has always been good at making us feel that our thoughts and questions matter. I suppose I understand why he said it though - in a way, it was a not-serious question, more designed to inspire discussion and not a real, honest-to-goodness unknown bit of knowledge. What followed was a brief, but meaningful theological discussion about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. It boiled down to what I have already written - we cannot, I repeat, cannot, save ourselves. We can't even muster up the righteousness to choose to follow God! And yet. . . He chose us. He chose you.
Do you remember the feeling you got when the team captain picked you for his team? I must say, that feeling certainly depended on the attitude of the team captain. . .if it was a casual, flippant decision, you felt just awful. But if they deliberately said, "I want you," oh the joy that filled your heart! But think of that one kid who was always picked last. Now, put yourself in his or her shoes. Imagine standing there, waiting expectantly, only to be picked as an afterthought. Sounds awful, doesn't it? Now, pretend you are that kid. . . but this time, the team captain walks right up to you before anyone else, looks into your eyes, and says, "I want you." How would you respond? This is what the Father has done for us. Remember, He chose you. It's the most important decision that has been made in your life, but you didn't make it. So then,