I never played varsity sports in high school; always wanted to but the schools I attended did not have such entities. I did play on the school team, but the intensity that comes after making it through multiple tryouts, habits developed with real coaching, and discipline that comes with practice and game results was not there.
Carli made the Varsity girls softball team. Three tryouts in the middle of sickness foul weather clearly told us about her level of commitment. Nothing was going to get in her way! Exhaustion was not going to be a factor. A throat infection would not slow her down. Wise counsel could not deter her from her mission. Everything else could wait.
Now that the opportunity is there the discipline is being testing and called into account. What are her habits? Is she going to consistently demonstrate good work ethics? Does she have what it takes to be a winner?
The first game will give the team and members a measurement of group and individual potential. Will they rise to the change? Whatever the outcome, it is clear that “slack habits and sloppy work are as bad as vandalism.” (Proverbs 18.10) If hey succumb to the temptation to revel in making the team, their opportunity will be as good as stolen.
I grew up in a environment where everyone was trying to make God’s team. The work ethics and habits were there. I have no doubts, even in hindsight, that everything that could be tried at the individual level was, and yet it never seemed to be enough. It is almost too easy to fall into the same trap. I cannot help but think that good habits, discipline, and work are required for God’s acceptance. Ironically, though these things may help me understand and see God, they can equally become a personal edifice that I worship.
God’s selection criterion is simple. We just need to be a member of the human race and accept his offer of grace and family membership. Do this and win! Why do we make things difficult?