Friday, August 28, 2015

It's not whether you win or lose...

Growing up, I played just about every sport available.  I even played on a basketball team where I was the only girl.  I'm not sure who was more committed to it, my dad or me :-)

But playing sports did give me a well-rounded upbringing and I'm thankful for all I learned in each sport I played.

Given that sports was a part of our lives, my dad would often say:

'It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game.'

Now, as I grew up, I would come to know just how enjoyable winning actually was to my dad.  And is to me too.  #competitive #monopoly #basketball #canjam #volleyball #bocceball  --Basically, if you've played any kind of game with my dad, you know what I'm talking about.

Still, his mantra and his example showed that attitude and character were worth far more than winning.  Well, at least most of the time :-)

Unfortunately, I don't hear this idea communicated very often today.

I started reading the book "Ordinary" by Michael Horton about couple months ago.  I shared some brief quotes and my reflections on those quotes from the first chapter in this post.  I read the following quote in chapter 3, which reminded me of my dad, and how vastly different his viewpoint was from from the mainstream culture of today.

"Behind selfish ambition and this exuberant cult of the immediate experience-in-the-moment lurks a haunting nihilism.

We came from nowhere and we are going nowhere, but somewhere in the middle of it all, we have to make a big splash.  Every moment must be charged with excitement.  "If the dead are not raised," Paul famously concluded by quoting a line from a Greek comedy, "let us eat, drink, for tomorrow we die." (1 Corinthians 15:32)

The technical term of this is narcissism. (pg 54)

"In other words, winning is everything today.  The point isn't even what we win, but that we win.  the goal slips from view - or rather shifts from someone or something else to ourselves." (pg 55)

This quote is convicting on several levels.

It reinforces the truth that "we are but a vapor" (James 4:14).

It calls to attention our infatuation with the worldly elation that comes when all praise and glory falls on us for one reason or another. (Matthew 6:1, Ephesians 6:7, Colossians 3:23)

This warped way of living has so infected our being that we have settled for our own temporary self-righteous towers of popularity rather than the eternal relationship for which we were created.

As C.S. Lewis says, "We are far too easily pleased."

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