You didn’t choose me. I chose you. (John 15:16)
How well I remember the days of dodgeball and waiting to be chosen. While others were choosing team members I was quickly reminded that I was rarely if ever anyone's first choice. When I read this verse that is the first thing that came to my mind. Wanting to be chosen. Remembering what it's like when you're not. Hating every moment that went by sitting on the side of the gym, waiting.
Many times I've been thankful that I chose a relationship with Christ. I've gone so far as to think myself wise for doing so. Wondered why everyone wouldn't make the same decision?
I "knew" He loved me--He is God after all and doesn't God love everyone? But "chosen" has a different ring to it. It's not the first time I've read this verse, but seeing it anew makes me feel special.
Pure and simple--He chose me.
But *my* wisdom had nothing to do with it.
My Catholic background is hard to shake at times. Although I now know differently, grace and love were things to be earned. Always, there is the nagging doubt that I have to DO something to earn God's favor. Realizing that none of this makes any difference to God is sobering.
"We are chosen not because we are perfect or commendable but because of God's inexhaustible love for the world, and somehow just for you, and just for me.
~Kelly Minter, The Fitting Room
There is nothing I needed to do first in order to be "picked" by God. I didn't have to be popular, beautiful, funny or athletic......So, it gets all turned around in my mind, when I realize, again, that His love is so very different from the conditional love that this world offers. And very different from the love and acceptance I offer others. How often do I choose the imperfect or the unlovely? When is the last time I made someone feel special just for who they are?
Which brings to mind the rest of John 15:16-17
You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. This is my command: Love each other.