Monday Musings ~ Unwanted

…a few thoughts, a little scattered…

Somewhere in early childhood we all experience the first sting of “unwanted”; usually on the playground in a picking teams scenario. It is one of those moments that sticks with us, why someone intentionally decided not to choose or include you.

I can remember being in these groups, and not being chosen. I wasn’t a super ball-sport kid (even though I’m tall) and wasn’t chosen as a first round pick. I didn’t really like those sports anyway, so not being picked didn’t bother me, but given the rules of school, I often still had to participate, and that would bother me. Even as an adult I’m much more content to be on the sideline and cheering you on where you excel (sports) than having to be in the game.  I know sports is not my gift, and that is ok. Sometimes the choosing kids do is just who they want to hang out at that very moment and will blatantly tell another “we don’t want you” which has happened to all of us and leaves more than a moment of hurt feelings.

As a teenager, I wasn’t ever the “popular” kid, so I often wasn’t chosen. This looks different as we grow up, it’s no longer waiting for our name to be called to the team or the playground group, but comes in silence from others and figuring out later you weren’t included. The figuring out usually came from boisterous retelling of stories and how great/fun/hilarious ___________ was, which you intentionally weren’t a part of. I can remember those conversations and learning to realize, I really didn’t miss much.

The unwanted came through as a young adult as well, again in different format.  The circle of “friends” who no longer include you because they know where your lines are drawn and ___________ crosses that line. These days what you’ve missed is posted all over social media as a raring good time left with intention for you to review. Often times those “good times” result in meaningless outcomes of those “friends”.

I know, because I am human, I have excluded others and have hurt feelings and made others feel unwanted because of my actions. As I have grown up, and based on my experiences, I try to be aware and inclusive instead of exclusive to those around me.

Undulating road through autumnal forest : Stock Photo

One particularly difficult time I can distinctly remember my Mom  telling me Ecclesiastes 7:8:

The end of a matter is better than its beginning.”

when my feelings were hurt over being unwanted.

At the time it is hard to see how an ending can be good, and it certainly doesn’t seem it would ever be better. But, ultimately, this was a reminder for me to persevere in what I knew to be truth {chosen} and not to succumb to what was lies {unwanted}.

I’ve never dug into this verse and it’s meaning, but I’m currently leading a Bible Study over Ecclesiastes, (sidenote: prepare to be uncomfortable in the best way if you take this one on) and in our book “A Life Well Lived” by Tommy Nelson I’ve just gotten to the chapter that covers this verse.  In describing the beginning of a matter is is loud, often times all talk, meaningless words, filled with pride which ultimately result in failure.  His examples were marriage; loud at the I-do’s and giving up vs the 50+ year standing strong marriage, or running a marathon while laughing and joking at the beginning, without the training and the resulting fatigue/failure at the end vs the one who trained. Ultimately, when reaching the end and realizing it’s better, “there’s pain, perseverance, stick-to-itiveness, courage, preparation and discipline”, rooted in humility, that far outweigh meaningless, trite, empty, loud words that were the beginning. Reminds me of my Dad always saying “talk’s cheap”.

Every time I look back and think on a beginning that turns out to be disappointing, I can rest in the end where my pain, perseverance, stick-to-itiveness, courage, preparation and discipline will far outweigh the temporary of that beginning.  Even when it is really hard. I’m so thankful for my Mom speaking those words over me, they have given me an anchor when the waves of lies of unwanted or not chosen begin to roar.

As this world and the people I come in contact with will continue to disappoint, I know that every day I am chosen and wanted by God. There is no insecurity or FOMO (fear of missing out) with God. He has intention and plans for me that far outweigh the loud, empty and meaningless words of this world.

The story of the in between is up to me; it’s the piece I can control.  My words and my actions. I don’t want them to be cheap. Instead, I want them to count and reflect perseverance and stick-to-itiveness and courage and discipline. Whether I am picked first or unwanted, the end, not beginning, will matter, and, will be better.

Press on,

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