Many discussions come down to one side winning, the other losing. Over the years I have struggled with this conundrum. First, my competitive nature – I passionately hate losing. The venue doesn’t matter – a casual basketball game, a logical discussion at work, or a fun conversation with friends. If I am wrong it must be how the facts were analyzed, not the logic! If I lose, my learning, introspection, and preparation for the next round begins instantly. The second part of the equation is a fear of loss. Even when I want to made the change the sense of loss at what was, used to be is far more profound than the situation ever warrants.
It is clear that certain things in life are priceless. Friendships cannot be replicated. Love is a gift that cannot be bought. Peace is a state of being that will not hold a price-tag. In my younger days I ignorantly and arrogantly gave away much that was priceless. As I gray I wonder if I have learned the lessons available from those days.
The newspapers are full of examples of people who have destroyed the priceless gifts and relationships in their life. Equally troubling is how things that are worthless are held as if they are priceless. Do we know what is valuable? Are we caught in the scene that John recorded?
“All the ship captains and travelers by sea, sailors and toilers of the sea, stood off at a distance and cried their lament when they saw the smoke from her burning: ‘Oh, what a city! There was never a city like her!’ They threw dust on their heads and cried as if the world had come to an end.” (Revelation 18.18)
I find my ability to determine what is valuable versus what needs to be tossed is often lost in the desire to not lose. In order to “win” do I need to “lose”? God offers you and me the priceless combination of love, acceptance, and compassion. As we fill up, the old overflows. Letting go is a good thing.