Have you ever wondered why losing hurts so much? Years ago after my son's club soccer team had won Surf Cup, one of the biggest tournaments in the country, I asked him: "Does winning feel as good as losing feels bad?" Of course we all know the answer: certainly not! The thrill of victory seldom lasts longer than the agony of defeat.
In my world, I feel it most when people leave our church family. The many encouraging emails and personal conversations from folks who appreciate what we're doing seem to be washed away in the flood of knowing someone has left us. It plays over and over in my mind and heart like that song you just can't stop singing. And just why is this?
First, it may be because of pride. Losing assaults that part of us that thinks we always should win. It confronts our feeling of superiority with the harsh notice of reality. No one wins all the time. And you can't please everyone.
Second, it may be because we know we could have done better. Losing a game because we dropped the ball, or losing a friend because we failed to be sensitive to their concerns will leave us with a regret that is only heightened by the reality that there are no do-overs.
Lastly, it may be that our regret is misplaced, and must be swept aside with truth. We may have lost through no fault of our own, and we had better come to grips with the fact that you win some and you lose some, and you're better off either way if you handle it with sincerity, humility, and courage.
So, when you lose, first determine if you could have acted differently. Then decide if you acted wrongly. If so, make it right. But in any case, chalk it up to experience and move on. Each day will have more challenges and chances to live before the face of God, and make a real difference in people's lives. Don't let yesterday take up too much of today.