I was THAT girl. In high school, I ran for “Recording Secretary” of the Student Council. This is hilarious to anyone who knows me- because my handwriting is a whole new level of AWFUL. (This was long before wordprocessing:) What on earth possessed me to run for recording secretary? I desperately wanted to be on student council, but I didn’t want to face a potential humiliating loss. My solution? I ran for recording secretary, un-opposed. I had a sure fire way to win. (We’ll call that my campaign strategy- it sounds so much better.:)
I had great posters, (school colorr balloon letters the works- thanks, dad) and a great platform (no clue what it was) and wrote my own heartfelt speeches. Running unopposed gave me the courage to run. But truthfully? I won by default. In my teenaged mind- it counted in the win category. SCORE! I was too competetive (or too insecure) to face a loss- but I still wanted to be in the game. In a lot of ways, I am still using the same strategy.
I like to play games that I am fairly certain, I can (and will) win. (Sudoko baffles me- it’s math. Cards are mostly out- I don’t know how to play, “Win-Lose or Draw™” is my nightmare- my drawing skills are right up there with my handwriting)- however a rousing game of “Scrabble™”, or “Boggle™” ? I’m THERE.) I like to calculated risks. Risks I’m pretty sure I will win. (see the Jump article at MOPS.org— the risk was minimal- the effort was not. )
This “strategy” has worked for me to some degree. (I did win the student council seat, after all:) I’ve probably had fewer “losses” along the way. But, I have a feeling there have been fewer “wins” too. I’m starting to wonder what the balance sheet looks like.
For years, the lottery slogan in Michigan has been “You can’t win, if you don’t play.” It’s never made me play the lottery, (I have better odds at the cash register- at least I know what I’m getting) but lately- the phrase has been taunting me… “You can’t win, if you don’t play” it makes me wonder how many opportunities to win I’ve missed out on because I’ve been waiting for a chance to “run un-opposed”? I wonder how much fun (and adventure) I’ve missed out in playing the game- because I didn’t want to risk losing.
I’ve been challenged to step outside my comfort zone of non-competitive play. I’ve been taking some risks. I’ve been writing more- and sending out more for consideration for publication. It’s entirely possible that this will lead to losses (rejections- I already have a stack) but- it also, might also (and already has) lead to some wins. It really is true- you can’t win, if you don’t play.
Maybe I need to start playing and living like I am running unopposed. Maybe the wins would be more savored and the losses, more productive. What if I started living like the verses below, were true?
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?” Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.
I’m ready to risk to find out whether all things really are possible.. what about you? Let’s start running like we’re unopposed:)
Dear Lord- I believe you have a plan and a dream for my (and everone’s) life. I’m not willing to stand back and wait for opportunities that look safe and low-risk… I want to live like I am unopposed.. because in truth- I am… not because of who I am- but because of who YOU are. I love you lord- amen.