Choosing Fruitful Teams; Signs of the Season

Choosing Teams

You didn't choose me, I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. John 15:16 (NLT)
You are Chosen!

There are many signs and sounds of the season and choosing what to do with our time can often be difficult. The spring season finds many people outside participating in a multitude of events, especially children. Some events seem to be traditionally bound with the warmer months, such as the sounds of playing ball on team sports. Most people have been involved in one way or another with team sports at some point in their life, whether willingly or not.

I must admit that team sports are not one of my favorite activities. It is not that I meet with opposition to working with or on a team, because I do not oppose such. In fact there is something very wonderful about a group of people who all understand one another’s strengths and weaknesses, and are willing to help each other out, to accomplish a goal for the team. However, my recall of being chosen for team sports as a child leaves a somewhat bitter taste and sense of unease.

There is a certain amount of stress that comes when children choose teams. This stress can come from not only the child having to make the choice but those standing around hoping they are chosen. Not really being super athletic creates an aura of acceptance anxiety, as a child waits in anticipation, hoping they will not be the last one chosen. Thankfully, I do not remember finding myself in that position, but I do remember being in the bottom third and praying that I would not be the last one chosen. I can also however, remember the feeling of euphoria when being one of the top chosen team members.

The acceptance factor of someone telling you that they chose you; whether we are children choosing teams for an outside sport, being chosen for recognition in the workplace or other organizations, or even another person declaring that they chose you above others in the name of love, can send fireworks of joy coursing through your brain. Unfortunately, as time passes people move on and so do those initial feelings. Children grow up, new people and new recognitions replace the old, and even the love of another person can change over time. There appears to be two common factors in the acceptance and feelings of others on earth; we are dealing with the fallible human race and time; which changes all.

Humans and time are two things that are totally out of our control, so isn’t it great that when we speak of our creator, we are not talking about either? We are fully accepted by our creator yesterday, today, and tomorrow. This week’s focus verse tells us this emphatically. We are chosen by Christ. We do not have to earn it, find favor, or sit around hoping that He will choose us. This week, we learn that we are chosen and accepted for who we are but with Christ choosing us first, we now have a choice to make ourselves. Christ wants us for His team; He made the initial choice, now the choice to accept becomes ours.

You didn’t choose me, I chose you.

I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using My name.

John 15:16 (NLT)

Even Chosen Fruit can Spoil

Sometimes choices take more than just an initial action, sometimes it is our choices that dictate the choices, which come next. Choosing fresh fruit this time of year is one of my treasured activities, as spring moves into its final moments. Strawberries are one of favorites and this year’s season has found us eating fully organic, taking careful attention to where and how our food is grown. Organic fruits and vegetables are a bit more pricey than the ones that could be contaminated with harmful pesticides and fertilizers, so I want to be sure that we enjoy what we choose and not allow the compost to have it. So I am being especially diligent in the care that I give the fruit after I choose it.

Nothing is more disheartening than to get ready to eat those beautiful berries that I chose at the market, only to find one covered in fuzzy white mold. For I have noticed that once the mold comes about on one, it is usually reaching to the others. It seems that even once a carefully selected choice is made, we have to be conscientious not to just allow it to sit without persistent care. This is because most often once the fruit begins to spoil, it quickly spreads to the others around it, causing all to rotten.  When choosing fruit, the choice doesn’t stop with the initial step, as there are more steps to choose from after the first.

It seems that we as people can be compared to the choosing of fruit. When you make a choice to follow Christ, you can’t just sit back and do nothing. For if you choose Christ and then do nothing else, not only may you spoil, but those around you can also spoil. So what are you to do?

The first thing you must do is recognize that you are chosen. Christ chose you, He chose you to be on His team. The next step is determining your choice. God has consistently given you choices throughout your life. He does not demand that you serve Him, as He wants you to serve Him on your own accord. So if you are feeling the euphoria of acceptance, then it is time you boldly declare that you are on Christ’s team.

There are five traits that business managers who regularly choose teams advocate as necessary for the strength and action of them. You can also apply them to making a strong ”Team Jesus” since they align with the faith of Christianity.

Attitude ”“ Teams with positive attitudes and behaviors are strong teams. A positive attitude for Christ will affect all around you.

Diversity ”“ Greater diversity lowers the risks and reaps the rewards. Christ is for everyone, not just a select few!

Familiarity ”“ Action is a given, when teams know the values and understandings of the team members. Christianity is love in action. It is not the action that receives the love but the love through Christ that prompts the action.

Availability ”“ The key to a good team is the necessary availability of its members. We should be available to God 24/7 as He is certainly availability to us. Choosing Christ is not a 9 to 5 job.

Leverage ”“ Team leaders with some type of leverage usually have strong meaningful teams. The investment put in for Christ is an investment that reaps beyond your imagination.

Are you challenged to make a choice? Then boldly choose the team of Christ. Be convicted to go out into the world asking others to join the team; a team with positive attitudes, great diversity, equal familiarity, readily availability for not only God; but one another, and with the great promised leverage of eternity with Christ. Feel the comfort and warmth of acceptance knowing that you are chosen for the team, not just for today but forever.

Christ makes His choice and He chooses you. Eleanor Roosevelt said that a person’s philosophy is not best expressed through words, but in the choices that they make. This is how we shape our lives and ourselves. This process never ends until we die making our choices ultimately our responsibility.

Are you ready to be responsible? Have you made the choice? Many a wise person has said that when you have a choice to make and you do not make it you have indeed made a choice. It is imperative that you choose your end, or it will be chosen for you.

After the Choosing

Don’t forget that even the chosen fruit can spoil, so be extra diligent in its care and that which surrounds it.

Love in Christ,

E.J.

Post Script

In Lewis Carroll’s, Alice in Wonderland, when Alice comes to a junction in the road that leads in different directions, she asks the Cheshire Cat, ”Cheshire-Puss”¦would you tell me please, which way I ought to go from here?” ”That depends a good deal on where you want to go to,” said the Cat. ”I don’t much care where,” replied Alice. ”Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”

Your choice to follow Christ matters only if you care which way you go.

Extra Study

Ecclesiastes 4:12, Romans 1:13, Philippians 1:22

What are your thoughts? Join Us in Discussion

Christ chose you; have you in turn made the choice to choose Him? Do you struggle with the choice of which team to be on? Have you made the choice but yet are sitting allowing yourself to spoil and mold those around you with an attitude that doesn’t reflect Christ? Have you boldly declared your choice to be on ”Team Jesus” and encourage others to join the team? Join Us in Discussion on being chosen by Christ and then choosing to follow Him.

How God is working through your life?