My wife and I play mixed doubles together on my USTA Mixed 55+ team. The team played in a major tournament this month, and Kathy and I played very well in our first two matches against the competition walking off court winners, but the third match was a different story.
When we began the final match, I thought, “Aw we can handle these players, no problem.” Well, it didn’t turn out that way. They whooped us. During their play against us, I grew increasingly frustrated, unable to muster what was necessary to counter their strategy. Afterward, I mentally fussed and fumed a bit about what went wrong and what I should have done differently to turn that match around.
During my prayers for peace, I saw clearly that victory was not about the score, but about moral and spiritual lessons learned. I pondered the question, “What can I learn from this match that will make me a better player?” And I easily came up with technique I needed to improve, and more effective strategy to employ. And I committed myself to making these improvements over the coming weeks. As I found the gain to rejoice over, I eventually came to the conclusion that I was very grateful for these opponents and our experience together, because they were giving me the opportunity to become a better player. And that’s what counts most in the long run.
This insight reinforced my understanding that the most important gain in life is not a material accomplishment, like a higher score, more money, more fame, or a one-up on another. It’s what we learn morally and spiritually.
At the end of our time on earth what we possess spiritually is all that matters. Everything else is left behind. So, the faster we grow in Spirit along the way, the better off we are in the long run. It’s the moral and spiritual lessons we learn that are far and above the most important gain we can claim from any experience we have, no matter how good or bad it looks on the surface.
In light of this spiritual truth, there is no such thing as loss. What appears to be loss is pure opportunity to gain a chance to become a better person, a better player, a wiser and more informed thinker, a more spiritually enlightened doer.
God is always with us. God is always blessing us. God is always supporting us, encouraging us, and providing whatever we need to move onward and upward. There is never a loss from God’s point of view. When we seek the spiritual gain, and not ruminate over a belief of loss, we come out of every experience a winner.
Look for the gain in the face of loss! It’s a rule for life.
Oh, and BTW, my team did win the tournament to become the Eastern Washington State Mixed doubles champions in our level. Now, it’s onto sectionals where I’m sure there will be even more lessons to learn!