Too Mutch

...a safe place to dance with ideas, play with theology, and re-create a life implicated by God

Monday, February 05, 2007

Something I Hate

Once again, I pull up to the laptop with IPA in hand...just before midnight...sporting my reindeer PJ pants...and relaxing in the chair that has been sewn to the carpet so it cannot be moved upstairs. I'd like to offer you something from either The Holy Longing or The Wal-Mart Effect, but I need some time to put that together. I'll come to that tomorrow or Wednesday. Tonite, I'm feeling a bit more contemplative. Bear with me tonite and tune back in later this week for something more juicy.

We lost our soccer game tonite. In fact, we've lost most of them. I HATE LOSING. For lots of reasons. Enough reasons that I probably need a counselor to walk me through them...likely several months worth of sessions. Here are some of the reasons I can come up with on the spot:

  1. I hate being on the short end of popularity...the winners get the attention.

  2. I hate that I can't get to sleep because I'm replaying mistakes in my head.

  3. I hate that others on my team are losing when they might be used to winning.

  4. I hate that I'd almost rather not play than lose.

There's just a few. These are the ones I'm willing to publish on Al's Internet experiment. The truth is, it's really not simply that I hate losing. What I am coming to realize is that I hate (in a righteous anger sort of way) that I hate losing so much. I'm bothered by my hang ups noted above. It frustrates me that winning and popularity and achievement are so vital to my broken soul.

I contemplate this tonite because of recent events. While defeat courses through my veins and inhibits sleep, a friend of ours from seminary was at the hospital with her dad most of the day today touching him and talking to him for the last time as he lay losing a long fight with cancer. We stopped on our way back from Milwaukee today to be with her and her husband for a couple of hours. They (and not I) have reason to lose sleep because of a loss.

We were in Milwaukee this weekend to visit good friends. Actually, great friends, because "good" friends would not warrant a visit to Milwaukee, WI!! Our friends in Milwaukee have good reason to be angry. While I stew about losing a [choice word] soccer game, they wonder why finding a company of friends who will "do life and ministry" with them is so hard to come by. They give themselves away to the care for their beautiful daughter, to academic pursuit, and to cutting edge ministry to the poorest of the poor in Milwaukee. They break themselves and bleed all the time. Yet, so far they have lost out on community. They should be angry. What was that I was angry about again...a 4-2 final?

So, here's to perspective. I'm sure I'll continue to struggle with being competitive and hating to lose games. I'm sure I'll feel some sort of responsibility to make my teamates happy. But tonite (and hopefully more nights to come) I'll lose sleep over something else. Tonite, maybe the thought of Sara holding her dad's hand for the last time will keep me tossing and turning. And with any luck, I won't be able to get the DeFranza's out of my mind...broken for them...wishing they could find a community of people to journey with.

Well, my IPA is nearly done. It's time to sign off and head to bed. Here's to being haunted by the thoughts of my friends. May I find a way to have the same passion for them as I do this game that means nothing more than an hour of exercise and a day of feeling OLD. Lord Help Me.

I hate that I hate losing so much. Yes, Lord Help Me.


At 12:15 PM, Blogger Rachel said...

I can definitely relate to the hatred of losing...a less than trivial example was when I played basketball from the 7th through 9th grades. Our girls' team never had a winning season. We considered our 4-games-won-out-of-15 a miracle. Maybe it comes from my competitive spirit, but I also hate to lose...and hate to hate to lose. :-)

Thanks for giving me something to chew on...and please say 'hi' to Christine for me...I miss her! :-)

At 12:28 PM, Blogger diane said...


lately i'm learning a lot about perspective...namely, how we all filter life through our personal perspectives...which can lead to trouble.

and renewal.

and understanding.

ya know?

At 6:58 AM, Blogger Greg said...

yes, diane, I know all too well. Perspective is a beautiful, wonderful, redeeming pain in the arse!

At 9:59 AM, Blogger John Frye said...

One right wing leader caused many USAmerican Christians to shit their pants because they didn't see "Merry Christmas" signs in the mall stores. These same Christians then proceeded to spend over 36 BILLION dollars on Christmas gifts for their bored kids. Meanwhile 6000 kids die of starvation every day and 1.3 million kids are serving as sex slaves in SE Asia. Do we really need to read "Merry Christmas" in the stores to make us happy? Ah, the joy of perspective!

At 9:25 PM, Anonymous raptor said...

I hate it when one of my teams loses in pro sports. Good thing the Colts beat N.E. and da Bears.
I hate losing too Greg. And I hate it that I hate it. Emotion takes over the rational


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