3-Week Series: Double Blessing


Summary: Winning is the modern goal, count my trophies and you will see how good I am?

What is winning?

By Wade Martin Hughes, Sr. Kyfingers@aol.com


Matthew 19: 30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.

Jude 1:22 And some have compassion, making a difference:

Romans 15:1 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak and not to please ourselves.

I ponder, do I make a difference? Do you?

I have been looking at my trophies, I have very few.

Let me tell a story about one trophy some young boys gave to me.

Let’s ponder... WHAT IS WINNING? Who is winning? What are we winning? Why do we think we have to win?

As I pondered all of theses questions, I am not sure I understand winning in the light of eternity.

Many years ago, I drove a group of young people to a religious state wide basketball tournament. The team I drove was not from my church, we were to small to take part.

I drove a neighboring church’s young men, as their pastor was not available. The team I drove was a very good team.

We watched the tourney develop and saw several weak teams eliminated. One of the super church’s team was having difficulty against another team. The Pastor was coach and player.

The hired referees (from high school level) call the game. Some calls, I will admit, were questionable. The Pastor had a technical foul called on him, for in great anger the Pastor told the referee some mean things.

In great fear the referees returned to the game. There was another call, the Pastor reacted in great anger and caused a scene, another "T," technical foul, was called against the Pastor/Coach/Player.

The Pastor’s team was losing, time was running out, when the third technical foul was called on the Pastor and he was asked to leave the gym.

I cried. I ponder, what have we taught these young men from all over this state? Later the Pastor calmed down and quietly came and apologized to the referees. But few saw this, and the damage had already occurred. The Pastor lost a lot more than just a ball game?

Well, I drove home with a trophy. As the boys I had driven were receiving their trophies, one of them said the Pastor that drove us here deserves a trophy. They carried the trophy to me. I still have the little trophy in my empty trophy case, but the lesson I recall of the trophy was not winning, but being a poor sport.

Some say: "It does matter if you win or lose, until you lose!"

My heart knows winners can be losers, losers can be winners. Ponder this lesson of Shay. Writer unknown.

At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves learning-disabled children, the father of one of the school’s students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question. "Everything God does is done with perfection. Yet, my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as the children do. Where is God’s plan reflected in my son?"

The audience was stilled by the query. The father continued. "I believe," the father answered, "that when God brings a child like Shay into the world, an opportunity to realize the Divine Plan presents itself. And it comes in the way people treat that child."

Then, he told the following story: Shay and I walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, "Do you think they will let me play?"

Shay’s father knew that most boys would not want him on their team. But the father understood that if his son were allowed to play it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging. Shay’s father approached one of the boys on the field and asked if Shay could play.

The boy looked around for guidance from his teammates. Getting none, he took matters into his own hands and said, "We are losing by six runs, and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we’ll try to put him up to bat in the ninth inning.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay’s team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. At the top of the ninth

inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the outfield. Although no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be on the field, grinning from ear to ear as his father waved to him from the stands.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay’s team scored again. Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base. Shay was scheduled to be the next at-bat.

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