Notes from Jan

Magnificent Losers

November 14, 2019

The headline caught my eye in today’s Obituary section of the Boston Globe: “Raymond  Poulidor, beloved runner-up cyclist.”

Beloved Runner-Up?

We  love winners.  Once the confetti’s swept up,  red carpet put away, banners taken down,  few remember who came in second or won  Miss Congeniality.  The crown, gold medal or yellow jersey(Tour de France) go to the winner.

Today’s  tribute written by Samuel Petrequin stated, “Raymond Pouidor competed in the grueling Tour de France fifteen times, finishing second 3 times and third 5 times.” He never came in first, yet the other phrase that captured my imagination was  the nation of France, “adored him as a Magnificent Loser.”

This phrase made me wonder, “What does it mean to be a Magnificent Loser in our culture?”

What would my life look life if I, like Jim Elliot, “gave (or lost) what I couldn’t keep, to gain what I couldn’t lose“?

While puzzling, a story came to mind, one told by Jesus in Luke 21:1-4 in The Message:

“Just then he (Jesus) looked up and saw the rich people dropping offerings in the collection plate.  Then he saw a poor widow put in two pennies.  He said, ‘The plain truth is that this widow has given by far the largest offering today.  All these others made offerings that they’ll never miss, she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford–she gave her all.’ ”

In the race we’re called to run, it’s about finishing.

God’s Hall of Faith’s filled with Magnificent Losers.

 

 

 

 

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3 Comments

  • Reply Jeri November 14, 2019 at 1:59 pm

    A friend once asked the question to our small group: “When does winning look like losing?”
    After a moment’s pause, he finished by concluding “When Jesus hung on the cross.”

  • Reply James B Griffin November 15, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    We are called to be faithful, not “successful.”

  • Reply wendy lane November 16, 2019 at 10:18 am

    I like and dislike the term “magnificent loser”. So fabulous to have a good attitude if you don’t come in first. But coming in 2nd or 3rd in such a grueling race should never label someone “loser”! In my humble opinion. 🙂 And yes, we are all called to finish strong – but we are not called to finish first. Thanks be to God! <3

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