In each of those contests, someone won, and someone – or multiple people lost.
The Denver Broncos won. Most of the pundits hadn’t predicted they would, but they did. Why? Whew . . . that depends on who you listen to: great defense, solid leadership, good coaching decisions, attitude, special teams, luck. The list could go on. But one thing was definitely clear—Winning was fun. Winning was exciting. Winning looked a whole lot better than losing.
But not everyone wins. In fact, out of the thirty-two NFL teams, if you want to get right down to it—31 lost. In the PGA’s most recent event, the Phoenix Open, over 120 players began the tournament, 69 didn’t even make the cut, 2 made the playoff and once again, only one won. This was a heartbreaking loss for Rickie Fowler (a personal favorite of mine), not because he didn’t win the tournament for winning’s sake (he has already won four tournaments), but because his father and grandparents had never seen him win, and he came very close to winning. All of us watching could look to when he made a crucial mistake and shake our heads and say “tsk tsk,” Rickie lost because of that stroke or that decision, but that doesn’t change the outcome. In his post-match interview, distraught as he was, part of what Rickie said was, “I’ll be all right . . . I know I can win. . . .”
And that is what many of us forget in our life struggles. Sometimes we overcome and win, and sometimes we succumb and lose.
There is a reason I didn’t title this blog “Winners and Losers.” Those words define people, as though they are either a winner all the time or a loser with no opportunity for redemption. But neither is the case. Ups and downs, victories and defeats are all a part of life. Even Paul said in Romans 7:15: “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”
So let’s celebrate our victories in life and put our losses into human perspective, and hopefully like the young golfer, we, too, with God’s grace and strength can say, “I’ll be all right . . . I know I can win.”