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  • By Rob Globke

    This is probably an easy question, but what do these players all have in common?
    • Martin St. Louis
    • Claude Giroux
    • Brent Seabrook
    • Eric Staal
    • Logan Couture
    • Bobby Ryan
    • Kyle Okposo
    • Ben Bishop
    • Keith Yandle
    • Alexander Semin
    Well, they all have a handful of things in common. Some of which include: playing in the NHL, being very good players, and last but not least....players who failed to make their respective country's Olympic roster. I'm sure you might be able to imagine some of the things these guys are feeling as the Olympic games draw closer. You probably have found yourself in their shoes at some point or another. The player on the "outside" looking in. All players face this at some point. In my case, I was sent down to the minors more than I would have cared for. I wasn't resigned by many teams. I failed to make teams. Eventually, no teams wanted my services. Getting cut from a team or not making one is tough. You feel sad, hurt, betrayed, and even angry. You feel rejected and unwanted. You may even feel worthless. The whole experience of being the odd man out, whether in hockey or life, just plain stinks.

    BUT, there is hope!
    Whenever I was feeling rejected or unwanted by a team I really wanted to make, I tried to remember the team I have already been fully accepted on. In Christ, I am part of God's team. More than that...I am part of His family! This is pretty cool. So, despite how deflating it can be when you don't make the grade. Remember. You are wanted and loved and accepted by God through Christ and nothing can change that fact. 

    In closing, here are a few benefits of being on God's team.

    1. You can't get kicked off

    Once you are on God's team, you are on God's team (John 6:37). Think about how this simple truth takes away (or should take away) any sort of worrying. It takes away the fear of being let go by the Coach. It takes away any sort of us trying to fight for the "keep up" or else "get sent down" mentality. You don't have to work to stay on God's team. You are on God's team and stay on God's team through the work of another...Jesus Christ. This takes a tremendous amount of pressure off your shoulders!

    2. You don't have to worry about "tryouts"

    Many of the players listed above are having great seasons. Yet, they still didn't make the Olympic team. We have all been there. There are only so many spots on a team (well, man made team anyway) and some people are going to get left out. So, what most people do is try to work really hard, score goals, do the right thing, train, eat right, make good passes, and generally try to impress the coach so they will get NOTICED. This works sometimes, but not always. See above names for proof.

    God's team is different. First of all, there is no limit to who makes the squad. Jesus said, "come to me ALL who are heavy laden..." (Matthew 11:28) He didn't say only the brown eyed people. He didn't say only those who do their homework. He didn't even say those who hug their Grandma. No, He said ALL. God's team is open for everybody who comes to Christ in faith. 
    Secondly, you never have to "work" your way onto God's team. In fact, you can't work your way onto God's team. Christ has already done the work. We will never be able to be good enough to make it on our own. We must rely on the work of another. Talk about stress relief. This is awesome news! Imagine the frustration and anxiety which come every time you mess up when you are trying to please a coach. Because Christ did the work for us, we don't have to worry about our mess ups. He took care of it for us.

    3. You will always get to play

    I played on teams where my role on the team was not very glamorous. There would be some nights where I would play a total of one minute. One night I played a total of zero minutes. Talk about a limited role! Every player has a different job on the team and sometimes that job means you are up in the stands watching. Obviously, this is not only heartbreaking, it makes you feel like you shouldn't even be on the team.

    However, on God's team everyone gets to play. The Bible tells us we all have jobs to do in which we were specifically made to do (Eph 2:10). We all can take part in God's work on earth. There's no one sitting in the stands. God's team is full of different people with different jobs, so you never have to worry about a time when you are not needed. God knows you, wants you on his team, and has given you a special assignment. All we have to do is enjoy playing on the greatest team ever.

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