Todd and the list

My wife reminded me that I left off a member of the Gallery of the Strange. He has been added.

Lists, by their very nature, are both exclusionary and affirming at the same time. Recently there was a list that I wasn't sure I was going to be on or not. I had to examine myself to find out why I wanted to be on the list, what would be different if I was on or off of the list, and how I would react to the potential for my exclusion from it. My struggle brought to mind a list that I did make. I was trying out for the 7th and 8th grade basketball team at the school I attended from Kindergarten through eighth grade. I was a 7th grader at the time and wasn't a shoe in for the team by any stretch of the matter.

There was another person trying out. His name was Todd and he was having a rough year. Everyone knew it and knew that his inclusion on the list would lift his spirits to a great degree. He didn't make the team. I did. I remember the tears that he cried that evening and went to the coach to ask him to take me off so that Todd could be included. He refused and I had a long walk home.

So what of it? I know that there is a list that matters and no human has a part in its construction. All these lists that are constructed, all these verdicts that are handed down are temporal. They seem so important and I put a lot of stake in them, but they are less than dust when it is all said and done. Maybe the next list where that I am included on or excluded from will occupy less of my mind than this one did. Or maybe my presence on or absence from it will lead me to repent.

I pray the latter.


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