How to Deal with Being Overlooked
As summer winds down, it’s time for tryouts for next season’s baseball squads. Lots of youngsters, like my son, competing for just a few spots. Not everyone will make it. Some will see their name on the roster and celebrate while those who don’t see their name will be left wondering why.
All of us have been passed over at one time or another. Maybe it was for a promotion, for admission to a program, for a relationship, or even for acceptance by a family member.
Being overlooked is incredibly hard to process because it rattles our sense of worth and significance. It’s one of those life-events that can leave a lasting scuff mark on our hearts if we let it.
The Bible mentions a person (besides Jesus) who was seriously overlooked, but managed to rise above it. His name was Benaiah and his story is briefly told in I Chronicles 11. He was a warrior in the army of David. Although Ben was way more capable and courageous than most, somehow he got left out of an elite group called “The Three.” He did all sorts of heroic deeds, but still he did not make the cut. In fact, it seems that Ben is best known for the fact that he was not chosen to be in The Three:
“These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada and won a name beside the three mighty men. 25 He was renowned among the thirty, but he did not attain to the three. And David set him over his bodyguard.” I Chronicles 11:24-25
I would imagine Ben was a little confused as to why he didn’t make it. His record was solid. His performance was excellent. What was the deal? Favoritism? Politics?
It’s hard to say, but regardless, Ben gave God his best. He may not have been on the list, but he was still on a list. He may not have been on The Three, but he was a standout in another group called The Thirty.
After all, Ben didn’t do what he did to be in a group in the first place. He did it because it’s who he was…it’s how God had wired him.
Like Ben, you may not be in the most elite group. For whatever reason, maybe a random one, they did not choose you. But don’t be mistaken, there’s another group that’s counting on you. It is your own “sphere of influence” and everybody has one. You are part of a tribe that needs you to show up today and do what you do like no one else.
Legendary missionary Jim Elliot once said “Wherever you are, be all there.” Sometimes when our “wherever” is not as as attractive and prestigious as we hoped it would be, it is tempting to hold back.
So, whatever group we’re in, whatever tribe we are part of, may the Lord give us the grace to be all there.
It’s a new day with God. Run with it.