The buzzer goes off signifying that the game is over. The season just ended and the difference between the winner and loser is only one point. One team is elated and their parents and fans are hugging each other and snapping pictures. The other team members are red eyed and their parents are clearly disappointed. It’s easy to see whom we on earth would term “winners” and “losers”. Coaches have been fired because of losses. Fans and the media clamor for a “winning” season.
Tony Dungy, the former coach of the Indianapolis Colts, led his team to victory in Super Bowl XLI. In his book, Quiet Strength, he tells the wonderful story of a yielded life. He was the first African American coach to win the Super Bowl. Yet a few years earlier he had been fired for not winning. At that time he did not panic. Why? Because his number one goal was to live out God’s plan for his life, he turned the wins and losses over to Jesus and left them there. Sure he wanted to win, he spent time strategizing to win, he equipped his team to win but in the end he left the results up to the Heavenly Father. And years later when the Colts won the big game, what did they ask their coach? They wanted to pray. The team knew their season was in God’s hands ultimately and they wanted to thank their Heavenly Father before that moment disappeared.
In Matthew 16:24-27, Jesus talked about the cost of discipleship. In verse 26 Jesus stated, “For what will a man be profited if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?” The relationship one has with Jesus Christ and that person’s willingness to serve God with their uniquely created abilities and gifts is what God’s Word emphasizes as true success.
Losing a game, losing a job or losing any other prized relationship or goal does not mean failure. Losing focus on Jesus’ plan for our life or choosing not to follow or honor Him is real loss and will effect eternity.
In our short time on earth God wants us to use all to honor Him, all our wins and all our losses. In Luke 12: 16-21 Jesus used a parable to describe a man who lived to possess. His goal was to be the top dog. Jesus’ term for him was, “Fool”. When we meet our Creator, the big question will be, are we rich in earthly ways or are we rich in our relationship with God? True winning is using our life on earth for God’s glory.
By Doyle and Melanie Denney
Dungy, Tony. Quiet Strength, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 2007.