Be all that you can be.
Reach for the stars.
I think all of our lives we are encouraged (maybe pushed) to succeed. I see it in children's eyes everyday, the joy of an A+ and the disappointment in anything but. This past summer when I coached Carson's soccer team, I was pumping up the kids, saying words of encouragement, picking out things they had done well, when one of the dad's came over and said, "Come on guys! You gotta get out there and score. We want to win!" I quickly chimed in, "We want to have fun and do our best."
I'm sorry, but we aren't always going to be winners. Sometimes we lose and that is ok. When Colin is disappointed over a loss, I ask, "Did you have fun? Did you try your best?" If his answers are yes, then I remind him that is all that matters.
Now, I'll admit, I'm a very competitive person. I love the excitement of a good ball game, but I do know that winning isn't everything.
It is SO VERY important that we experience defeat.
Yes, let me say it again.
IT IS SO VERY IMPORTANT THAT WE EXPERIENCE DEFEAT.
And yes, even my children must.
How else can we reap in the joy of the rewards of success? How else can we find out what we are made of and what we are about?
Defeat is so humbling. We must look at ourselves to find what caused the defeat. Was it something we did? Were we just outplayed? Oh, I remember Colin's last baseball game in June. The kids played their hearts out. They made mistakes that 6-8 year olds would make, but man, they gave it their all. They lost. Nobody's fault. They just lost. But they knew they did their best. In defeat, they found joy in knowing they played their hearts out. They knew that we were just as proud of them with that loss as we would have been if they had won.
Now I realize that my comments are all sports related and kid related, but hey, that is my life right now. I'll tell you that one thing that I have enjoyed about Upward basketball this year is that when the game is over, it doesn't matter who the winner and losers are. The kids are still encouraged and loved. During one of the halftime devotions, one of the coaches spoke. He is also a high school coach. He said, "Parents, the most important conversation you have with your child is after the game." Isn't that so true? Should we treat them any different if they win or lose? No, we shouldn't carry them out on our shoulders if the team wins and we shouldn't walk away from them in shame if they lose.
I think the best thing we can do for our children is to encourage them all the time. Lift them up when they fall. Celebrate with them always. The way we teach them to handle defeat will impact them all their lives.
I'm not trying to be cold hearted, but our children need to learn that they are not the best at everything, they can't have everything, and we owe them nothing but love and care. The world does not revolve around them. We have to show them that we believe the same things about ourselves. They will watch and learn from how we react to defeat and disappointment. Do we point fingers and find some one to blame? Or do we accept that failure is a necessary part of life?
True that we will see different types of defeat. We will be hurt, let down, and disappointed by others. We will make mistakes that will cause us to stumble and fall. Regardless, we must humble ourselves, pick ourselves up, and ask God to guide us, show us the way he would have us go, put us in HIS will. He will be with us on the mountaintop. He will be with us in the valley. He show us light in the darkness. He knows that we are not perfect. He doesn't expect us to be. I think God does expect us to try to do well in the fact that we are doing what is in his will.
We will find success, we will be winners if we are in God's will. It won't always be easy. He never promised it would be, only that he would be with us.