I am in second place
So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. (Colossians 3:12)
Chosen by God - don't those words just excite the soul? There is an intense desire on God's part to have you and I as his children - embraced by his love, set free by his grace, and living in the liberty those two things produce within us. We aren't just 'picked from the pack' - we are chosen by him because there is an intense desire - a passion of sorts that keeps his focus squarely on each of us. As a result, we are never outside of his provision, protection, and certainly not far from the reach of his passion.
One part of this passage that struck me this morning was the point of being 'content' with second place. How many times do we strive to be on top? From our earliest age, we played games where someone was 'it' and all the rest of us made it safely home without being tagged by whoever was 'it'. That meant we didn't have to be the seekers - we were the ones who won. We competed in sports like there was no other goal than the ribbon or medal at the end, but we didn't want anything short of the gold or the blue - because first place was said to be the most important.
I don't know about you, but as I have grown a little older, slightly wiser, and more 'seasoned' in the choices I make, there is no 'drive' for me to be at the top any longer. I am perfectly content with 'second place' in life. Not that I don't give it my all, because I still put 100% into my work, relationships, and even my leisure time. I just don't strive any longer to 'be on top' - the king of the hill. Why? I have discovered the futility of the climb! The climb is hard and the result of 'being on top' all the time isn't really all that rewarding.
Try telling that to some 'up and comer' in the ranks of their career today and they will look at you like you have grown a third eye in the middle of your forehead. Try convincing the athlete being on the team is an honor, not being named the "MVP" of the game and they will look at you like you have lost your last marble. Society pushes us to be at the top of our game all the time, but let me give you a little permission here - second place is not a bad place to dwell. In fact, as long as the love of Christ rules your life, you are squarely in the embrace of his love and grace, and your eye is on him first and foremost, there is no other 'climb' worth the investment.
The 'climb' into his arms, right up into the 'snuggle' of his lap, is pretty doggone amazing and it certainly carries with it some pretty phenomenal rewards or blessings. I cannot describe it any other way other than the 'snuggle' of being in the lap of the Lord's love and grace. It would be like one of your kids just crawled up in your lap, sat there and just snuggled for a while. How does that make a parent feel? Pretty doggone blessed and amazed at the intensity of the love shared in those 'snuggle' moments! So, snuggle in - you aren't 'settling' for second place - you are embracing the liberty of it! Just sayin!