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Grace in Defeat

We are two weeks away from the Super Bowl, one of the biggest sporting events of the year, and I am having a hard time getting excited. Let’s be honest. When your favorite team is not one of the two playing in the main event, it is difficult to be enthusiastic. It is kind of like attending a wedding for two people that you don’t really know. While you may be happy for them to be sharing this moment, you do not really feel included.

The NFC and AFC Championship games this weekend were frankly rather boring. In both cases, the games were one-sided. The outcome was pretty well decided at halftime. I do believe that the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots will give us a good game. It is just that neither team is “my team.” I had such hopes that this was going to be our year to go all the way. Now, we are once again looking towards next year.

The lesson from this is that life does not always go our way. There will always be times of disappointment. We cannot expect our teams, or our candidates, to win every time. I am not the only one with hopes and dreams. Sometimes the wishes and plans of other people will supersede my desired outcome, in a ballgame or in an election. We should not expect to always be victorious. Truthfully, the most hated teams in sports are the ones that win most of the time. That is why I find myself cheering for Atlanta.

While we are not able to control the outcome of a sporting event or an election, we can control how we react to the results. I wanted to find someone to blame for the loss of my favorite team in the playoffs. Surely, the refs must have made some bad calls or missed some calls that would have favored my team. The other team must have done something unfair to gain the advantage. My team should have won that game, but they didn’t. We lost…and life goes on. One of the most important life lessons that I learned from playing Little League baseball was how to lose. I was an “outstanding player,” standing in the outfield most of the time. We were having fun, whether we won or lost. I had friends on the opposing teams, who were still my friends the day after a defeat. As a nation, we need to learn how to graciously accept a loss and enjoy a victory.

Serving in love,

Bro. Jim

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