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NFL Draft vs. God's Draft

The 2016 NFL draft is now in the history books.  While this has little or no meaning to many in the general public, this is an event my husband and I follow, particularly the first two rounds.  We have interest in seeing which players are chosen early, especially the Heisman trophy winner and runner-ups.  We also have interest in seeing which draft round the players from the college football teams we follow are selected.

A few days after the draft, I thought about how different the NFL draft is from the draft for those who join Godís team.  Granted, Iím speaking metaphorically, but itís a significant observation.

For months prior to the NFL draft, college players from all positions within offense, defense and special teams compete in columbines that test their skill sets.  The columbine competitions allow coaches and scouts from each NFL team to see firsthand the abilities and talents of each player, including speed, agility, strength and endurance.

The players are also given extensive physicals.  Itís not unusual for college players to incur injuries at some point in their college-playing years, so coaches need to know if those injuries will interfere or limit a player at the professional level.  

While coaches and scouts observe the players, they generally know the positions their respective team has a need, so they will pay the most attention to the players who can fill those roles.  Theyíll most likely have a preference of a first pick if that player is still available.  If heís not, theyíll have a back-up plan in place.  If the teamís need is great enough, head coaches might negotiate with other teams for the possibility of moving up in the round by giving away draft picks or trading players.

After evaluating the total physicality and skills of a player, the last area a team will consider is the playerís character and reputation.  In the past Iíve seen many teams pass over a terrific athlete because of the poor behavior he exhibited during college, or if he got in trouble with the law.  This very thing happened this year, as well.  If he was a ďbad boyĒ in college, will that carry over to the professional level?  Does the playerís potential abilities and contribution to the team outweigh the potential problems the player might bring to a team?

When it comes to the NFL, only a small percentage of college players are deemed good enough to merit becoming a draft statistic.  The bottom line for each draft pick an NFL team makes is based on selecting the best of the best.  And, just because a player is drafted, that doesnít mean the player makes the teamís final roster.  During the spring and pre-season practices these players have to continue to prove they belong in the professional ranks of football, otherwise they will be cut from the team before the season even begins.

In comparison, it doesnít matter to God how good you are, or how bad, immoral, or dishonest.   He wants you regardless of your weaknesses, character flaws or lack of skills.  There are no tryouts, auditions or preparations required to be on Godís team.  He loves and accepts you just as you are.  His invitation to be on His team will never be withdrawn, and your team membership is permanent.

Unlike the NFL coaches who seek the most skilled and very best athletic players, God seeks the weakest, the unfit and the unwanted to be on His team.  And, unlike the columbines that give players a chance to demonstrate how good they are, God doesnít care about anyoneís goodness.  He seeks those who grasp that coming to Him means their achievements are meaningless, and that their abilities, their work, their skills and talents will never earn salvation or heaven.  They can never be good enough to merit what Jesus did for them on the cross.  Thatís why the world describes his selflessness as Amazing Grace!  You donít need to wait to be drafted, His invitation to you is always open.  Itís up to you to become a ďwalk onĒ player and join Godís team.


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