When Winning Isn’t Everything

One of these days I may grow up and move on.


There’s something to be said, however, for enjoying something enough that you choose to engage with it–even when you don’t have to.

All six of our kids played soccer. We’ve been to a couple of thousand games in our parenting experience. And though I’m known to speak in hyperbole, this is spot on.

You’d think there’d have been a sigh of relief when our youngest played her last college game.

Not so much.

We’re now going to our grandkids’ games–and loving every minute of it.

Well, that’s not totally true, either.

Ethan was in a tournament this past weekend. The coldest weekend of the past twelve months.1a679f0d-1438-418d-8002-8728d4b075da

Northern people would mock me for my weather weakness.

It was in the 40’s, people. With lots of wind. Cold wind.

That didn’t bother me–that much. I had more layers on than a fancy wedding cake.

What challenged my sensibilities was the unfairness of the referee.

These folks aren’t omniscient. He made some really bad calls, but I’ve got to believe he was trying to do the right thing.

What bothered me was that it bothered me.

b94887af-a02d-40e6-9b4f-9b6ad42713f1Ethan and his team lost. They played a great tournament. I don’t think they cared all that much about their second-place medals.

They were disappointed. They wanted to win. This just wasn’t their week.

None of them seemed any worse for their experience.

We’ve lived through many losses. There’s always disappointment. But losing any game doesn’t change the way we live. We don’t become different people. Losses help us recognize where we can improve.

But I like to win. I like to see my family win.

That would be my way.374cc44d-0d88-49a8-ba8d-abefd52be15b

Not very realistic.

I’m bothered that something as incidental as a youth soccer game could get my dander up so much.

Is that my focus in life? My best hope? First love?

Of course not. But how did folks observe me this weekend?

Is what I’m truly passionate about as obvious as my desire not to lose?

God addressed the church in Ephesus, lauding them for their hard work and the suffering they’d experienced for the gospel. They’d faithfully done the work. But something was missing.

“But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love Me or each other as you did at first.”  Revelation 4:2

Work is fine. Games are fun. But the most valuable thing in our lives is our relationships. Especially the one we can choose to have with God.

Relationships define us. How we engage with people–loving and serving others, helping those who need us to stand in the gap for them–says more about who we are as people than anything we can accomplish.

Knowing and walking with God makes it easier to create and build great relationships.

Losing is still a bummer.

I’ll never lose the love God has given me in Jesus. Being passionate about Him and what He’s done for me affects my life and how I treat others.

I’ll take that over a medal any day.









2 responses to “When Winning Isn’t Everything”

  1. Dayle, [I will mock you for your weather weakness – you’ve lived in FL too long!] But REALLY, I don’t like to lose either! I don’t suffer enough for the Gospel and I don’t even work for the Gospel. Thank You for the Reminder of Revelation 4:2 – I don’t love relationships like I ought also – especially the ONE WITH GOD! Love and Blessings!


    1. Having the freedom to be loved well, forgiven completely and understood fully by an all-gracious God is amazing. He loves first and best. I love that.


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