In the days of my youth in Houston, Texas, I played pick-up basketball or football with my buddies nearly every weekend at our favorite park. When it came time to form teams, I enjoyed very often being the first or second pick. I had serious game, I assure you. Then my wife and I moved to Nashville, Tennessee. I stopped playing sports every weekend.
Several years later on a visit back home, the old gang decided to get together to throw the pigskin around. We began to form teams, and even though I had given no more demonstration of my current fitness level than simply walking from the car to the field, I was picked second to last. Oh, how the mighty had fallen! I was humiliated. All these guys had done was look at me; I guess several years had taken the sheen off their memories of my athletic prowess. I suddenly looked less Tom Brady and more Tom Bosley.
I felt very keenly in that moment how good it feels to be picked. Everybody wants to be picked. The gospel tells an interesting story about being picked. If I had to relate it to my weekend football humiliation, I would put it this way: God looks at the available selection, sees that I have no evident talent or ability and that in fact I give all indications of being a liability to the team, not an asset, and says, "I'll take him first."
Do you understand that God is not looking for "the cream of the crop?" He is in the margins, picking the scrubs, the losers, the dum-dums. This is good news for me!
And for you too. The bar is set incredibly low. Anyone can qualify, so long as he or she is willing to admit they do not have what it takes to be an asset to the organization. It's in that admission, funny as it may sound, that one actually becomes an asset.
The gospel really is good news. It is proof that God loves sinners, saves sinners, picks sinners. The only way to miss out on this good news is to think that you are really hot stuff. But you're not.
Thank God that he wants the liabilities.