Everyone hates an arrogant winner. It isn’t simply a matter of jealousy, though it is hard to deny the longing within to exchange places. It isn’t even an emotion born out of the pain and depth found in losing, though I’m sure the backdrop only heightens the response. Our response comes from having salt in our heart’s wounds. It is the attitude, posturing, and reality of what winning can mean to those worshipping the god of self. Every strut is a knife thrust in a vital organ. Every word poison to the air we breathe. Every word piles onto a cascading avalanche of implied taunts and jibes.
Yet, as I remember my history, I do recall arrogance – on more than one occasion. I ignored everything around me, worshiping “I”. My words for second place transcended age and time. Metaphorically the words translated along the following lines; I’ve “heard—everyone's heard!—of Moab's pride, world-famous for pride—arrogant, self-important, insufferable, full of hot air. So now let Moab lament for a change, with antiphonal mock-laments from the neighbors! What a shame! How terrible! No more fine fruitcakes and Kir-hareseth candies!” (Isaiah 16.6, 7)
I wish I could rewind and redo. I can’t but what’s here for you and me is the present. The morning sun has come, inviting all into a new beginning that need never end. In winning and in losing we can reflect the values we hold closest to our hearts. In walking life’s path, heads held high in victory or standing tall in defeat, the questions are never about the victory or loss of the moment past. Everything revolves around this moment.
How will I respond to those in my community? Will I reach out or merely react to their last choice?
How will I react to my soul? Will I lift myself to God, longing to simply “be” with Divinity or seek yet another idol as an alternate?
What attitude will I hold within? Is it justice or mercy? Is it acceptance or filtering? Is it about gaining the high ground or compassion?
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