All I do is win, win, win no matter what
got money on my mind I can never get enough
and every time I step up in the building
everybody hands go up
and they stay there
and they say yeah
and they stay there
Up down, up down, up down
‘Cause all I do is win, win, win
and if you goin’ in put your hands in the air
make them stay there
I like this song. It often plays at the gym where I work out. It comes on my pandora station. I love Emma Stone’s lip sync version.
I like winning. Donald Trump wants America to be great again. He says it over and over. All the other candidates say the same thing, though with different emphases. They want to win. So do I.
But life sure feels like a lot of losing.
I tried bacon wrapped asparagus on the grill last night, but lost. Bacon doesn’t work well on open flames.
I tried to do the Crossfit Open 16.1 workout yesterday, but I lost. I can’t really do one of the movements, and even though I got more than I thought I would, it didn’t feel like winning. It felt like a beat down.
I tried to have a conversation with my son about life, work, homework, friends and responsibility. That didn’t go very well.
I’m torn up over one of our teams. I’ve led horribly. I’ve communicated terribly. I’ve either been too aggressive or shut down and neither will work. This has hurt friendships and not gotten accomplished what we need to do. So that’s failure.
I could go on and on: time management, finances, eating, lenten resolutions, calling friends, writing thank you notes, practicing my sermons, holding my tongue….
In his book Failing Forward, John Maxwell says that I need to embrace failure and learn from it. I can’t run from it. Failure is good, he says.
Paul writes this: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2) And he writes, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
That’s good news for me and for you and for anyone who frequently or constantly loses. My losses may not be the same as yours. And I certainly understand that my losses (at least the ones I listed) aren’t too bad in the grand scheme of things. Dropped, burned bacon-wrapped asparagus – eh, no big deal. I can magnify those and totally lose perspective. I might need to get out and hang out with people who are struggling just to make it, not struggling with a chest-to-bar pull up.
Failure can be relative, and it also can be formative. I’m not a failure. I am loved by God in Christ. So I can fail and it’s okay. I don’t have to only and all the time win, win, win no matter what. Because then someone else has to lose too. It might be Trump or Cruz or Rubio or Carson or Kasich or Clinton or Sanders or you or me.
“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5)