I’m reading Ps Brian Houston’s 10 Day Devotion at the moment – My Spirit, My Responsibility. Day 6 today is brilliant.
“In life, sometimes we win and sometimes we learn. Every mistake or failure is a chance to grow and learn, and if you understand that then you’ll never lose – you either win or you learn – both of them are worthwhile.”
When I read that, I thought of athletes. I’m obviously not an athlete. But athletes and sportsplayers, they go out and run a race, or play a game, and they either win or lose. Like, the English football team. We always lose. But, if I was an athlete, and I lost a game or race, I’m guessing my next move would be to watch that game or race, learn from my mistakes, and practice even more until my next game or race. And if I happened to lose again, I’d watch it again, learn from it, and practice. It’s not really rocketscience.
But how often do we make a mistake, and dwell on it. How often do we lose in life, and stay in that same place. If an athlete did that, do you think his manager woul let him back on the field for the next game, or ever? No, of course not! And yet we think it’s okay to do that in life. I know I’m guilty of doing it myself – failing, making a mistake, losing, and not learning from it and getting better.
But I think it’s about time I forget my mistakes. I’ve accepted my mistakes and I’ve forgiven myself a long time ago about some things, but I’ve not yet stopped rewatching the game and started practising to get better for the next game. I’ve not yet forgotten those mistakes so I can learn from them and win.
The other thing I found that stuck out in this was this:
“When it comes to loaning things, I believe that if you can’t afford to lose it, you shouldn’t lend it. You are better off to just give and be generous than to put someone in a position where they have power over your failure or your success.”
That’s good. Immediately, my mid went to money. People lend money all the time and you hear them (compaining) that they never got it back. But what if they had just given it, generously, to begin with, not expecting that person to repay it. I really hope one day I can be that kind of person. Someone who is blessed enough just to bless people freely.
This lending applies to other things too. That book you lent your best friend. That jacket you lent your sister. That DVD your ex borrowed. And all of which never gave them back… Don’t lend it if you’re not happy with them keeping it as a gift! – again, this speaks so much to me! Forgiveness, SJ. Let it go. (Thanks Frozen!)
But this also applies to friendships, relationships, non-material things. How often do we go out for coffees and pay for a friend’s coffee, expecting them to pay next time you do it. How often do we go to a friend’s party, expecting something in return. How often do we give our love, time, energy to friends and family, only to expect something in return.
I think this year, I want to be able to give – money, time, energy, love – without expecting anything in return. Without expecting it to be “repaid” to me. I’m going to give generously, give wisely, and leave it at that.
It’s time we stopped expecting things in return. Have no hidden agenda, no motive, except to love, to spend time, to give to others.