Losing to Win

Do you sometimes feel like a big loser? This is not meant to be an offensive question, as I’m not referring to a horrible lack of self-esteem, nor is this making any reference to a once popular prime time television show where the big losers in the competition really were the big winners in life. I’m actually talking about the propensity to lose things on a regular basis. From keys, to eyeglasses, to wallets, to that favorite sweater that goes so well with the distressed jeans, I would make an educated guess that there are many who could reluctantly raise their hands (minus the watch that used to adorn the wrist) and say that, yes, I confess, I am a big loser!

And friends, I am a card-carrying member of the club, that is if I can find the card. It is such a frustrating tendency! I continually lose my reading glasses, my cell phone, my make-up case, and my car in almost any parking lot. There are definitely some standouts on the list too. Recently within a couple weeks, I happened to lose a box and two large individual number birthday candles for our very special family celebration, my car fob, a black satchel, two pairing knives, a pack of straw brushes that I was so excited to purchase while on a business trip, and two pieces of raw chicken that I had taken out of the fridge to make for dinner. Now, if you’re like me, if and when a lost item is found, it is like a major discovery of buried treasure. Happily, the fob was found in my terrycloth swim cover-up more than a week after it went missing. The knives actually turned up in the kitchen in places where I would have never put them (company helping to make meals). The brushes appeared in a suitcase that I had used on my trip, and I obviously had never removed them to begin with. I discovered the black satchel the other day in a spare bedroom closet more than a month after it disappeared, in another state! I literally rejoiced upon each of these finds. The mystery still remains, however, as to where the candles and the chicken pieces went. In regard to the chicken, I can only hope that somehow it was cooked and eaten by who knows who, it is in the proverbial black hole where I imagine all lost things wind up, or it is adequately buried somewhere like the aforementioned treasure.
Now, if the Apostle Paul were to be a part of this conversation, no doubt he would he would think back to his discussion of loss in the Bible. He rather encouraged being a loser for the sake of Christ. In Philippians chapter three, after reviewing many of his own admirable qualities that made him notable in the eyes of the Jewish people, he said the following, “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith – that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead,” (Philippians 4:7-11, ESV). Paul was willing to give it all up to take hold of that which is so much more important, the righteousness that only comes from a relationship with God through Christ Jesus by faith. It is the only way to truly know, love, worship, serve, represent, and share Jesus Christ our Lord. Nothing in the entire world compares to that heavenly treasure! So, I have just thought of a great way to turn my penchant for losing “mere things” into a positive experience. Rather than becoming frustrated, if I use such a loss as a reminder of Paul’s exemplary words, my loss would actually become a win as I turn my focus on what I have gained by knowing Christ.
So, just a little bit ago in the middle of writing this newsletter, my husband came up to me and said, “Were you looking for these?” My sunglasses were in his hand, and he had found them on the floor of his car. I’m sure that the next time I ventured out on a sunny day I would have been frantically searching for them. My loss was averted, but it was still an opportunity to think about the gain I have in Christ.  Thank you, Lord. And thanks, Hon for sparing me the search! Now, by any chance, have you seen a package of chicken?

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