Been thinking about how in most cultures winning is everything, losing is totally unacceptable and a draw is nearly so.
Here is my stream-of-consciousness muse on the topic:
Just heard a song by Big Kettle Drum about love which includes the pain which is always an element of loving.
The problem is that a draw is in some ways like a stalemate in chess, or in my fave sport, football (soccer, called “football” by 90 percent of the world, a draw or in the U.S., “tie”) meaning neither side won but did not in fact lose. Unsatisfying after often, a lot of hard work.
My fave club (Chicago Fire) just played to a 2-2 tie.
In the past I have said there is a sense in which Jesus lost. The powers that were killed Him on the cross, and beat Him near death prior. He was about as completely rejected as one could ever be.
Indeed, we believers will tell you He walked out of the grave resurrected, whole, as perfectly sinless as He was prior to death… so in the most genuine sense, He won.
The concept of “love wins” is tied to this- and yet the idea that all is well or ends well all the time -even for Christ followers is simply not the case.
Yet love does not FORCE, not even God in His love. Ponder that.
Plenty people are changed for the better. Some fall away (Jesus spoke about this in the parable of the sower). Not -all- will live forever with Him and His people as per many texts throughout the second Testament…
So there was, is and shall be both those “won” and those “lost”.
Meanwhile on this planet we have stalemates. They will not last but for now, we have them. In essence, “NO CHANGE IN EITHER DIRECTION” stuff. Both individuals or teams walk away from a chess match or sporting event with at least a little sense of good but they neither won nor lost.
Of course our personal satisfaction is THE DEAL, right? I don’t think so. Only if it’s your personal kingdom and not the kingdom of God you’re most concerned with.
“All things are full of weariness; man cannot utter it : the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.” Ecclesiastes 1.8
This is where despair on one end and rage on the other can bring individuals and groups to think, say and do horrible things to others.
Even “Christians” get swept up into the fray. Anyone who speaks of moderation, balance or caution is swept aside in the rushing current of “more heat than light” to mix metaphors for you!
In such a case love, mercy and proportion, a sense of caring based on the compassion of God that causes us to move slowly and with application of wisdom and grace all goes right down the tubes.
Perhaps “zero change” is what we get when nobody is willing to deal with their own need of personal repentance. The first word in stalemate is stale.
Welcome to the world, the church, the people-groups in which we all live.
Another thought- would we ever consider those martyred for the actual cause of Jesus Christ “losers”? They apparently were willing to lose everything for His sake, due to His love, service to others, taking a stand out of compassion that cost them everything.
Neither were they willing to accept a stalemate in or outside local or larger churches.
Were they each and all rebels or reformers? Were they spiritually status quo or revolutionaries?
Did ALL of them truly die for Christ, love and love of all others? That is a massive question that of course only God Himself knows the answer to.
Regardless, win, lose and draw are all part of life in this world. Of these three, only “draw” will evaporate in the next.
Things to consider. As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn