It had been three days of running, drilling, sweating, and playing the game. Tryouts for the fall team had begun and tension was in the air. The time had come and the names were called. Those who made the team were directed to a side room down the hall. Those who did not make the cut were pointed toward the door. They were to go outside the building and go home with their parents.
We, parents, were waiting outside the school doors wondering. Stopped from the hustle and bustle of our day. Waiting. And looking to see if our daughter would be coming through the doors.
Time passed slowly. Then one by one in straggling fashion, girls exited the building. Some walked by seemingly un-phased by the whole ordeal. Apparently, making the team was not hugely important to them. Some however were devastated and there were many girls weeping after tryouts. I wondered how each girl had prepared for this day. I wondered at the stipulation of the coaches and what they were looking for in a selected player.
“They are cutting all the freshman! No one is going to make it! It’s not fair!” was one girls loud exclamation.
“What am I going to do…” she wailed.
Forty girls tried out. Twenty two slots were available to be filled. Eighteen girls were not able to be let in.
Even in this scene, the Holy Spirit spoke to me.
“This is a tame glimpse of what it will be like when Jesus returns. Those with expectation to enter the kingdom, may not make it. There will be weeping alongside indignation and dumbfounded-ness.”
I was reminded of the story of the ten virgins in Matthew 25: 1- 13.
Ten women waited. Five were prepared. Five were not. The five prepared made the cut; they made the team entering the kingdom of heaven.
This is how it will be.
This is no perfect illustration. But I was struck by the weeping and dashed dreams all attached to making a sport team. How much more devastating it will be if people find themselves cut from entering the kingdom of heaven!
Where is the hope in this message?
God, as Holy and Righteous, was visible to me in that moment. Yet, God, as Patience and Compassion, was visible to me also. He has given us instruction through his Word; it is the secret playbook of life. He has given us his Son; He is the trainer alongside, the go-between who will plead our case and show us to be worthy of entering the kingdom. God, as mercy, will be standing at the door calling the names of those who have put their hope in Him and in Him alone.
I want to be among the names called. Don’t you?
Before it is too late and to spare your wailing, “What am I going to do…?” like the girl who was cut….here is my message of hope for you today:
Read the playbook.
Commit your life to the trainer.
Believe Him and follow Him.