Saturday, June 8, 2013

A Life Well Lived

I wrote this a couple of weeks ago, the evening after our high school baseball team lost in the state finals.

Tomorrow there will be an article in the newspaper about our boy's baseball team losing the state championship. Actually, it will be about the other team winning. But, our team's name will be prominent and the fact that we came in second.

This won't feel good. While a great season, best ever, having the community know you didn't win makes losing feel worse.  We will say great things about our guys, they deserve to hear those things, especially since they had won the first two outings with the championship team.  But, anyone who reads the sports will know who won the big game.

Garrett pitching
This is what happens when you are a braveheart, when you have courage and strength to make a run for something great and special. You may win. But, you may also lose. And, people will know.

Very few notice the last loss of the season for the teams who don't make the playoffs. Their losses won't be well known. It is only when you really go for something big that you run the risk of not only failing, but a lot of people knowing.

But, the alternative is to not even get there, whatever the dream or goal might be.

There is risk when you have courage. Otherwise, it isn't courage. Risk means you can lose, you can fail, you can get hurt. The bigger the goal, the more likely a lot of people know. The bigger the goal, the more likely you fail.

But, sometimes you make it. And, certainly, if you don't try and don't aim big, nothing happens. You are simply a fan of someone else trying.

I was challenged by a friend recently who had worked really hard to accomplish a big goal, with strength and courage. A goal he did not achieve.  He said, "But you talk about having courage." He thought that having courage and working hard would result in a big success.

I do believe in courage. I believe that being a braveheart is the way to become the person God intended, to use the gifts we have, to make a difference. It takes courage.

But, you can fail. There is risk.

"The knew they were alive."
Make sure the goal is worth the risk. Then go for it, with God's help. You might win. You might not. But, you will know you have lived. You have entered into something that many people don't, a life well lived. If the dream is big enough and important enough, whatever you give is worth it. Our children need to know that failing is part of a life well lived, a life intent on something bigger than ourselves.

After watching a hurtful loss by his daughter's basketball team in the Illinois high school state tournament,Wheaton College Men's Basketball Coach, Bill Harris, simply said to the other parents,"They knew they were alive."

When you have courage to play for the top, with courage and strength, win or lose, you know you are alive.

It is worth it. For us. For our children. To know they have lived, and lived well.