Always a winner

April 25, 2006 | No comments yet

Are there any losers in heaven?

I played in a USTA team tennis tournament this weekend with nine other guys on my team. We did well in our first team match, but lost the second. It was a tough loss for me because the match my partner and I played ended up being the swing match that determined whether my team would win. And we lost—just barely—after a long hard contest.

I had a sleepless night wondering what went wrong and what I should have done better.

After struggling for hours, I gave up rethinking the game through and prayed for a higher perspective. In bright mental lights I saw the message, “On God’s courts, every team is a winning team!”

Of course, I reasoned. In heaven there are no losers. Everyone is a winner. Win/loss scenarios are human and the outcome of a limited sense of good. There are only win-win competitions on God’s field. I needed to look at that days’ outcome from a different perspective. From a spiritual point of view, everyone had to be a winner regardless of the final score.

How was I a winner? I asked.

I realized winning can be measured in different ways. A score is one way. Lessons learned are another way.

One lesson I learned was the need for effective poaching at the net, which I had not mastered. I was hobbled by fear and needed to conquer my hesitation and timidity in order to do a better job.

In a sea-change moment of awakening I declared, “I am never going to fear poaching again!”

What a victory! A huge tension released within. I found the lesson I needed from that day’s event.

For the next match, I told my partner I was going to poach all of the time. He was thrilled.

I followed through with my promise, and we won handily. For the first time ever, my fear was gone. My team took second place in the tournament and advanced to the next level.

We all can be winners!

Winning is not the highest score. It’s not who gets written up in the newspaper. Winning is conquering fear, improving oneself, growth gained, and lessons learned. Winning is not one-up-man-ship over another. It’s within ourselves, looking for the good to be garnered whether it’s reflected in a top score or not.

When we come out of a competition a better person, we’re always a winner.

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