Getting Ahead: ‘Winning and losing’

By John G. Pfeifer - Religion Columnist

In my younger days I participated in various competitions and sports. I did average in basketball, excelled in music and was a total failure at track and field.

Every year I would go to basketball try-outs and work very hard to make the team. It was such a relief and victory when my name was called and I knew that I was on the team. When I would go to try-outs for the band and state-wide competitions, it was no less exciting when I was informed that I had won.

As far a track and field goes, after losing every race, I learned that I needed to give my efforts to what I was able to do. The extra time for practice with my trumpet and basketball made me better in the things that I had discovered I could do. I could practice my trumpet an extra 30 minutes every day and shoot 100 foul shots in the time I had attempted to run track.

As I look at the trends in our culture, I wonder if our children and grandchildren will ever experience the thrill of achieving something that took determination and work. It seems that we are giving them trophies for just showing up. We are insisting that our children should be rewarded even though they did not earn it.

How can they ever discover what they can excel in? Will there be a day when our children will not get a reward for just being there? Will they then be able to learn the truth about effort and rewards, or will they continue to think they deserve what they have not worked to get?

Does it quit raining because we walk out of doors without an umbrella? Will the freezing weather immediately change because we are not dressed for it? Can you grow a garden without planting seeds? Are we developing winners or losers?

These and other life questions will be addressed Sunday morning as “The Gathering Place Family” meets in the Washington High School Library for Bible Study at 9:30 and in the gymnasium at 10 a.m. for our Pre-Service Connection where we enjoy coffee, juice and donuts. Our Worship Service and Children’s Church then begins at 10:30. Come at 7 p.m. and be part of our Wednesday night Bible Study and Children’s Ministry on the third floor above Trends at 120 W. Court Street in Washington Court House.

By John G. Pfeifer

Religion Columnist