I Love……..Losers

I love LOSERS. If I am watching a ball game and the camera is showing the jubilant winners, my eyes focus on the guy from the other team slumping in the background. If I watch a spelling bee and a kid misspells a word, my heart breaks for them…even if “my kid” is still in it.  If I am watching election results come in, I get sympathy nausea for the person having to give the concession speech, even if I don’t agree with their political views,

It’s easy to identify with a loser. We have all lost at something in our life…..well, most of us have….and the feelings are universal. That deflated, stomachache-y, rapid heartbeat feeling we feel while we’re dropping down in the dumps.
My favorite loser is Michael Jordan, I think. Most of us know the story of him not making varsity when he was a high school sophomore and being relegated to the junior varsity team instead. It’s hard to believe that another sophomore, who we’ve never heard of, made varsity when Michael didn’t. But Michael went on to have a stellar high school basketball career, that got him noticed and led to his stellar Tar Heel career, that led to his stellar NBA career. From ordinary to excellence. Not making varsity that year probably turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to him. Not only did it wisen his inner-determination, but probably it has contributed to his approachability and driven a whole lot of endorsement deals.
But that wasn’t the end of the loser story for Michael. After his pro career, he went to work for the Washington Wizards, as a player/executive. He was ultimately fired. He bought into the Charlotte Bobcats as a minority owner. His performance in that position? Ummmmm…..lackluster. Loser-ish. He becomes the majority owner. He still struggled, then started hitting his stride. He decides to bring back the Hornets name and colors. They go to the playoffs.  He makes some good business decisions and marketing decisions and all of a sudden people are paying attention to the team again and getting excited about the team. Recently the Charlotte Business Journal named Michael their Business Person if the Year. A couple of years ago, who would have thought that possible? Once again, the loser became a winner.
Michael’s my favorite loser because he only rents in Loserville. It is not his permanent residence. He has actually screwed up pretty often in his life…..he’s nowhere close to perfect. Remind you of anyone? But yet you think of Michael Jordan and you think winner. He hangs in there and eventually comes out on top.
If you lose, you may be a loser for a moment in time. Maybe a bit longer. While a loser may pull my heartstrings because of their loss, what really makes me love them is watching their recovery. What will they do next? Will they view themselves with self-depreciating humor? Will the fire of determination appear in their eyes? Will they show humility, cry out to God, and raise up in power beyond their own capacity? When at first they don’t succeed will they try, try again?
Losers are movies in motion…..and it’s not over yet. We get to keep watching and see what happens next. It could be anything, but if they hang in there the odds are in their favor that they will eventually win. Will they, or won’t they? Stay tuned. I love losers….because they remind me I have been there before and will be there again….but probably will not be there forever.

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