Friday, July 22, 2011

Defeated Again? - July 22, 2011

Good Friday morning! Routed! Sent packing! Beaten and dismissed! Whooped on and sent home to mama! Not the things you might want someone to write up in a review of your day. The skeeters did whoop on me this morning and I did indeed increase my pace to get home. It could be worse I see now. How would you like to be the forklift driver that dropped a million bucks worth of wine from 20ft up? Smash! That would make me feel rather sick I think. Sometimes a huge blunder is well... a huge blunder. What's done is done and somehow an apology seems to fall short of adequate. Imagine the insurance mess; imagine the mess on the dock! Drunken seagulls everywhere. Oh, the horror of it all! We laugh, but somewhere is a forklift driver that might just be feeling very down. I know that if I destroyed a million dollars worth of property belonging to another person I would be sobbing in a corner somewhere.

We do make mistakes in this life and we do suffer accidents, equipment failures, and the occasional flight to get away from the skeeters. Life is not always fair to us and life can serve up a hefty dose of defeat at times. We don't like those times very much, but come they will. A mistake at work over the past couple of years has been especially hair-raising in that so many have lost their jobs. A mistake anywhere can be costly, but most of us have felt the urge to be extremely careful at work for way too long now. Mistakes, small defeats, losing a game, why does the world seem so gosh darn painful all the time?

Part of it may be our fixation on winning. We think that everyone must win, while knowing that to win in a contest means that someone else must lose. Thousands may start a marathon, but only one runner will finish first. Is it right to call all of the other runners losers? Just to complete a marathon in my life would be a big win for me. Did you catch the article about winning in that magazine? I can't remember which magazine it was, another loss for me. It seems that winning something is also addictive. Lottery winners go right back to buying lottery tickets. Super Bowl winners want to go back and win another one. Race winners jump right back in the car to compete again and sometimes must be forced to retire. We strive to win and once we do we cannot get enough of it. Perhaps winning all of these things is not the best goal to have; it certainly doesn't seem to satisfy anyone. You can bet that the Seniors tour wasn't invented by the PGA because the pro golfers were tired and had enough of golf. The drive to compete in something can put a terrible strain on us if we are too caught up in it, and yet we go back for more!

There is one race that we signed up for when we gave our lives to Christ. Paul mentions it in his letters. The good news is that the only way to lose this race is to give up on Jesus! It is easy to give up on myself when I look at my own strength. Giving up on Jesus is a whole different matter. Remember all of those tough races or projects or diets (oops!) that you just couldn't finish or see through to the end? Jesus is going to make sure that all of his lambs finish this race. We may fall across the finish line at 113 years old, worn out in mind and body, grasping for the 'tape' with our last breath, but we will finish with Jesus. I guess 'last breath' kind of goes without saying when we talk about finishing this particular race. After this race, our next breath will be in Heaven with our Lord. Now that's a finish worth striving for!

Have a great weekend! A 20 sq. mile chunk of ice is headed for Canada; I bet that quite few folks know where all that ice could be put to good use these last few days. Try to find some coolness! Oops again, some of you might take that wrong. I think you're all cool. Try to find a cool place.


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