Updated: Aug 17, 2020
Last night, I coached a middle school basketball team in a championship game. The boys fought hard, scrapped and fought till the last second of the game. Ultimately, we failed to bring the school a championship. "We had a horrible shooting night, the referees were atrocious, I got out coached, a player got hurt, and the other team played dirty".... All excuses that we could use to distract us from the simple fact that WE LOST. Although the team, and myself, will think about those excuses with gut wrenching disbelief for the next few days, weeks, and possibly years, we have to accept the fact that we lost. We got beat. We failed to reach our goal.
It's hard to wrap our heads around, but in our faith we play a much more high stakes game everyday. I know I personally lose, get beat, and fail to reach my goal everyday as a catholic. I don't have a great attitude towards my job, I don't always fit my prayer time in, and most of the time I fail to live in service of others. Daily excuses may include, "I woke up late"..."I didn't sleep well"..."I had a flat tire"..."I forgot to study" or, my personal favorite "I'm just too tired to pray tonight." All excuses that we can use to distract us from the simple fact that WE LOST sight of our Lord.
Thinking about that championship loss, (just typing that fills me with rage) a quote from one of the Batman movies sticks in my brain. Batman's butler, Alfred, quotes Bruce Wayne's departed father, asking Bruce "Why do we fall master Wayne?" The answer is very simple, but is so important, "We fall so we can learn to pick ourselves up." Life is full of taking small losses and personal setbacks. But whether or not you let those losses define you is what will truly shape you for the future. Learn to pick yourself up, and motivate yourself to get better.
If you are trying to pick yourself up from a tough championship loss, make a commitment to get better for next season. Let that feeling of getting beat be your driving force behind getting better. Same goes for all of us trying to pick ourselves up after we sin, let today's loss to Satan fuel us in the future to not let us lose sight of our Lord again.
Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up, and attack life even more ferociously tomorrow.
- Joe Schaad