07 October 2009

For The Winners Shall Be Losers, And The Losers Shall Be Winners

Life is all about losing. Winning is for losers. You understand that? Winning is for losers.

The winners shall be losers, and the losers shall be winners.

That’s the secret paradox of life. That’s the secret paradox of Christianity. And make no mistake, Christianity is life.

In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.

Everything else is death.

I remember being heartbroken watching that Tigers – A’s game. . .

I was a little boy and the Tigers were my favorite team. . .

I wanted them to win that game so bad. . .

And not to get beat by a negro pitcher. . .

Did I pray for them to win? In some primitive heathen fashion, surely I did. . .

But the Tigers lost. 2 – 1.

How could God allow that to happen, I wondered?

At that time, I had no knowledge of Christ. Just had the vague awareness of *god* that most people never grow out of.

There are God only knows how many hundreds of thousands of smart ass atheists who imagine they shake the foundation of faith by asking how a supposed *good and loving* god can allow evil to happen. That question has never been of any concern to me. And even if it were, it could have been easily answered by looking into Romans 9:

Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew His wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom He hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

That would be answer enough, were I concerned with the question of evil. Evil has its place, as a kind of second schoolmaster, to bring us to Christ.

Evil has never troubled me. . .but how could God allow the Tigers to lose game 5 of the 1972 American League playoffs to the Oakland A’s?

How could God allow Mike Lantry to miss those field goals against Ohio State in 1973 and 1974, ruining the seasons for Bo Schembechler’s best Michigan teams?

[Mike Lantry, his status as Vietnam vet provoking the classic opening line from the Chicago Tribune’s account of the 1974 game: Mike Lantry served in the Vietnam War and he had reason to believe the worst was over--until Saturday. Had I known then what I know now about America’s history of dirty wars, perhaps I would have found solace. . .]

The great value of sports in building the character of youth is that it introduces children to losing. All the rest, sportsmanship, teamwork, being a good winner, etc., etc. is meaningless.

I imagine the greatest prayer I could pray for all who stumble upon these words is God give you the knowledge you are a loser. For losers are blessed by God with the humility to recognize they need Christ.

Winners? Let us look at examples of *winners* in the Holy Scriptures:

The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?

Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Children identify with their favorite sports teams, and when they lose, it is difficult to accept. But this is a good introduction to losing.

Children who love the New York Yankees are denied this valuable lesson. We must liken child Yankees fans to the following:

And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him: For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

Bastards, these are Yankees fans. Never chastised with defeat. Growing up knowing only the riches of the Yankees. It is true, they suffer recently a drought in World Series titles. . .but their autumn defeats never sting, for their bastard fans are comforted in the expectation the riches of the franchise will procure for the next season the latest *star* whore. The Yankee fan has an unshakeable faith his team will lure for filthy lucre’s sake another team’s best player, and win next year. Trying to learn about losing from the Yankees is like trying to learn about marriage from pornography. The Yankees are sports porn, their lineup filled with centerfolds. Yankee fans are bastards and wankers. . .children of Satan, never having been chastised by the Lord.

Last night, the Detroit Tigers suffered another bitter loss. There may have been thousands of heartbroken children in Southeastern Michigan, going to bed wondering how God could have let the Tigers lose. May they discover themselves, even at their tender ages, in that bitter loss. And may they never forget. For, unfortunately, later in life, in the valued things of the world—career, material wealth, status, etc.—some will appear as winners. I can only pray God save them from their deception:

And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

Only a chosen few are bestowed by God with the gift of the knowledge of their true status as loser, and it is this supernatural gift which produces the humility to kneel at the Cross. . .

Today I thank God for giving me early lessons in losing, as demonstrated by the Detroit Tigers and Mike Lantry. . .


  1. Yankee fans are bastards and wankers. . .children of Satan, never having been chastised by the Lord.

    I've heard quite a few accusations leveled against Yankee fans but THAT ONE is a first. Wow.

    I mean, WOW!


  2. I love this article

  3. Man, great piece.

    So many people born to great wealth have experienced nothing but winning. They get what they "want" and all that jazz. They never lose.

    And look at how miserable so many of them are. The only ones who seem happy are the ones who give themselves to God in Jesus Name.

    It goes to show all of us must humble ourselves before God and thank Jesus. Nothing else, not all the food or wine or cars or vacations means a thing. So many rich boys throw everything away for the cheap thrill and find themselves even emptier than before.

    Some realize the "winning" has been a loser's game. And from there they may find Victory through Christ.

  4. When Jesus comes, the shadows depart. ~Author unknown, inscription on a Scottish castle

  5. I prayed in that heathen manner as a kid. Hopefully I no longer am guilty of such a thing. I pray for forgiveness in Jesus Name. But when I was a kid, Dale Murphy was my idol and I prayed that all my baseball talent be given to Dale because he was at the tail end of his career and it broke my heart. I cursed players who caught his pop-ups and everything.

    Man, I still remember it when he got traded from the Braves to the Phillies. August 2, 1990. Dark day for a kid to see the player he could watch almost every game on TBS go to the freakin' Phillies.

  6. Man, how many times as a kid did I pray for Bo Schembechler's Michigan team to kick a fucking field goal! The guy was a great coach, but never bothered getting a decent kicker. How many undefeated seasons it cost him!

    I'd pray, and the kicker would always miss.

    The 1976 Michigan-Purdue game is legendary in these parts, because of the call of the Michigan radio announcer, Bob Ufer. #1 ranked Michigan missed another last second field goal, and Ufer was in agony over the air waves. . .

    It's no good. . .no good. . .no good. Michigan loses.

    Absolute despair in his voice. . .you have to have heard it to appreciate the sheer despair. Unfortunately I can't find the clip anywhere on the internet. Reporters back in Dallas on November 22 1963 covering the JFK assassination sound cheerful in comparison. People calling suicide hotlines sound more hopeful than Ufer did at the end of that game.

    Now, I actually enjoy the losses more. . .they ground me, keep me in touch with reality.

  7. Beavis once asked Butthead why so many videos sucked and Butthead wisely replied, "so we know which videos rule."

    Losing makes things exciting if there is a chance to win, for sure.