All I have to say is, thank God there are no tryouts for Heaven! Let’s take a little journey back to my high school days. When I say “little journey,” I’m talking over thirty years ago.
It seemed difficult enough dealing with homework, clubs, and passing all of those notes–add cheerleading tryouts to the mix, and then it really gets interesting. It seems we spend our lives just trying to fit in, to be good enough.
I’ll never forget trying out for cheerleading in high school. I was at a definite disadvantage not having been a cheerleader before. Many of the other girls had been cheering since they were five, and knew all the right moves. On the day of the tryouts, I noticed that some of the girls had left campus during lunch. I later learned they ran out to buy those cute little Keds sneakers; you know, the spotlessly clean, white canvas ones? Remember those? The ones that actually looked like girls’ shoes, instead of the ones that looked like you borrowed them from your brother? I don’t even have a brother, but I bet you can guess what kind of shoes I wore to the tryouts..I didn’t remember any of the girls wearing Keds during the cheerleading camp. It was as if they waited until the very last minute to produce them, like it was some kind of cheerleader’s secret dress code; could it be a cheerleading conspiracy?
Finally, the time had come and it was my turn to face the judges. I wasn’t looking forward to getting up in front of all of the other girls..I began to sweat a little. The panel of judges were sitting at a long table that seemed to go on forever. I stood up slowly then walked forward to face them. At least I didn’t trip.
I don’t really remember much of my routine, except that I pretty much choked; mainly because I couldn’t remember much of my routine… I couldn’t remember the words or most of the moves I had practiced. I really did practice, honest… I just froze. Ever had that happen to you?
I’m not really even sure why I wanted to be a cheerleader, but I think my dating the quarterback could have had something to do with it. I mean, shouldn’t the quarterback’s girlfriend be a cheerleader? Isn’t that some type of football tradition? Maybe it was because they got to wear those cute uniforms to school on pep-rally days. So perhaps I wanted to do it for all of the wrong reasons. I know for some of the girls, it would have been the end of the world if they had not made the squad. I even remember one girl saying that her mother wanted to move her to a new school, but if she made the squad, she could stay. That’s pretty major. I don’t know how I would have felt knowing I got her spot and she was out.
Now, please don’t misunderstand me. I know I may sound a little bitter, but I’m really not. I do admire the cheerleaders of America, and know they work very, very hard to make the squad and to stay on it. I know they have to keep their grades up and represent their schools, even while attending parties and functions not related to school events. I just feel strongly that if a student wants to represent his or her school and cheer for their team, they should be able to do it, whether they can do three back flips in a row or not. It seems the only criteria you should have to meet is to have a good pair of lungs and some school spirit. Of course, that alone won’t win the trophies at competitions, so we really do need those great back flips, back-bends, and walk-overs.
I wonder how many girls like me had tried out, didn’t make it, and remembered that feeling for the rest of their lives. The feeling that you weren’t good enough or talented enough.
You do learn from the whole experience. If you make it, you learn the discipline of what it takes to stay with it. If you don’t make it, you learn that you have to pick yourself up and keep the faith. Life will disappoint you if you let it. You can’t change some of the things that may happen to you, but you can control how you react to them; you have a choice… One thing is for certain, God will never let you down. He is always with you no matter what. He didn’t allow me to win a spot on the squad, because there was a reason why it wasn’t the right thing for me.
So here I am years later. I wasn’t a high school cheerleader, but I have been cheering ever since. I’ve cheered for my children and grandchildren, their accomplishments, and how they make me feel proud every day. I’ve cheered for my family members and friends and rejoiced with them as they’ve celebrated successes. I’ve cheered for my husband who achieved his Bachelors Degree while working to support his family, built his own business, and continues to make me laugh every day.
Most importantly, I cheer for Jesus Christ and how he gave His life to save me…me, that girl who didn’t make the cheerleading squad… I pray every day that all of my friends and loved ones would come to the saving knowledge that He is the way, the truth and the life. That He is our One and Only Savior, The Way, The Truth, and the Life…(John 14:6)….the only way to the Father, and that Heaven will cheer for them as they commit their lives to Him.
Aren’t you glad there are no tryouts for Heaven? We don’t have to wait for that letter in the mail saying “thank you for trying out, but you were not selected.” We have all been selected. We are all invited into God’s family. God has made a way for each one of us… by accepting the free gift of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior….
I am a cheerleader! Who knew?! I will keep cheering for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
…I wonder if I’ll be able to do a back- handspring in Heaven…Hmmmm…
How about you? Can you do a back-handspring? Share a high school experience that made an impact on your life….in a good way….in a God way….
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