Posted on Thursday, February 20, 2014 in Uncategorized
Yesterday I was playing goalie.
The score was tied.
A minute to play.
The broomball was free on the right side.
I checked my angles. I checked my distance from the goal. I felt confident I was close enough to make a play.
I raced up to the ball.
Vivian (pictured in the back row, second from the left), our best goal scorer was near their goal crease. I knew if I got to the ball and made a good pass, that Vivian could win the game for us.
I hadn’t accurately judged the speed of my opponent.
I hadn’t accurately judged his level of determination.
Tyler (back middle, in a black hoodie) raced to the ball. Despite my size advantage, Tyler shot the ball. I knew my angle covered the goal. What I didn’t know is that Tyler had passes the ball just outside my reach. Worse yet, I hadn’t seen Chris (green hair in the back row) sneak behind me (listen for his sinister laughter).
I dashed back to the goal.
Tyler’s pass was too good. Chris was too fast, too close, and too accurate.
Shot, SCORE! Game over.
I walked over to congratulate my opponents. Then I apologized to my teammates. They were gracious; probably more gracious than I would have been.
I’ve struggled with an accurate self-concept for what seems like all of my life. The howls of my fear of failure or the screams of my fear of rejection. They are the loudest of myslientscreams.
Fear of Rejection
I’m not alone. The struggle with the fear of rejection is an ancient one.
Large crowds followed Jesus as he came down the mountainside. Undoubtedly, the cheers of the crowd were still ringing in his ears. Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, a man with leprosy approached Jesus.
Leprosy is a scary, crowd-scattering, body-deforming, very contagious disease. I can only imagine the crowds shouts of horror if the man suddenly rushed forward to see Jesus surrounded by the crowd.
Instead, the man must have found Jesus alone. He rushed up, probably with awkward leprosy-limiting movements. He knelt in front of Jesus. He said, “Lord, you have the power to make me well, if only you wanted to.”
This man challenged Jesus’ power – “you have the power” – mission – “to make me well” – and character – “if only you wanted to.”
This was bold. This was courageous. This was faith-filled. This was maybe even reckless. Obviously the man was desperate.
Jesus could have handled it many ways. A weak person who needed to find his value in the shouts of praises could have handled it very differently. Instead Jesus had a private conversation.
Jesus reached out and touched him. TOUCHED him! A man with leprosy. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” 1
Jesus followed that with two kinds of instruction.
1. Now that you’re healed, here’s what you have to do to re-gain your public reputation.
2. Now, don’t tell people it was me who helped you.
Jesus knew what he needed. Jesus knows what we need. Let’s ask for help.
1 – As told in Matthew’s gospel Matthew 8:1-4. I amalgamated all five translations.