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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Rejection (11/15/04)

TITLE: Last One Picked?
By Jenny Veleke
11/16/04

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It is every new kid’s worst nightmare – picking teams for kickball. Being the new kid is not my only obstacle. I have three strikes against me – I am new, I am poor, and I am a preacher’s kid. Nevertheless, my desire to fit in, to be accepted, compels me to join the other kids on the kickball field.

I position myself on the sidelines, right in front of the crowd of kids, hoping wildly that someone less desirable is there and I will not be the last one chosen. Team captains are named. Quickly, the kids are picked out one by one to be on a team. First Charlie because he is an awesome kicker, then Emily because she is a fast runner, then Jack because he is Charlie’s buddy, then Sarah because, well...just because she is Sarah. One after another they leave the crowd of kids and join their new teammates.

The kids are divided now and I stand alone on the sidelines. The team captains count off the number of teammates – ten each. One of them looks at me and lets out a huff. “Look,” he says to me, “we got even teams. If we let you play, well…it wouldn’t be fair to the other team.”

Worse than being picked last, I have not been picked at all. I have been rejected and humiliated. Inwardly I am crushed. Outwardly I walk away with a stiff upper lip and a head held high by sheer determination alone. I will not allow myself to cry in front of them, will not give them the satisfaction. As I round the corner of the school building, I collapse onto the pavement and dissolve into tears of despair.

Later that afternoon, I recount the incident on the playground to my mother. As she enfolds me in her embrace, she reminds me that although people on earth may reject me, there is One who loves me above all else, who fearfully and wonderfully made me and will never reject me. And with her words, I am comforted.

“I have chosen you and not rejected you; do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:9-10 (NIV)


Member Comments
Member Date
Jennifer Solla11/23/04
I have been there Jenny!I really am glad I was too. Now I don't take God's love for granted. Thanks for sharing your article.
Debbie OConnor11/23/04
I really enjoyed this article. I remember hating picking teams in school. Even when I was picked I felt bad for those who weren't. Well-written and enjoyable entry.
Deborah Anderson11/23/04
Your story made me want to give the child a big hug. God bless you.
Lois Jennison Tribble11/25/04
The classic story of rejection, every kid's nightmare. Well done, Jenny. It put me right back in the schoolyard whether or not I wanted to go. Thank God for His acceptance of us through Christ!
darlene hight11/28/04
You made me feel and remember. Good job!
Linda Germain 11/28/04
Jenny, your article made me smile remembering when my son was in third grade. He would climb a tree and try to hide when they were picking teams. Reason? He could kick further than anyone else and they fought over who would get him! He was 'embarrassed' and didn't like being the center of attention!There has to be a lesson here somewhere. :0) You would think educators would have stopped that painful practice of choosing sides. I think most of us have been bruised by the real (or perceived) rejection. Anyway...well stated and nicely written.(You can be on MY team. I don't kick or run too well, but I can holler, "go team go.") ~LG~