Thursday, June 5, 2008

Pittsburgh Penguins Lose Quest for Stanley Cup

Front page, above the fold of today's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has a very sad picture. It features Pittsburgh Penguin Evgeni Malkin kneeling on the ice in front of the ice-encased image of the Stanley Cup and the words "Stanley Cup Final." The sub-headline declares "The final fury ends ...!

No one likes to lose unless there is something terribly skewed in their psyche. Losing is never fun. Losing always hurts.

Yesterday I heard Lanny Davis - attorney and former White House counsel to former President Bill Clinton and now STRONG Hillary for President supporter - talking about Hillary's apparently failed run for the White House. He said that neither she nor her supporters were emotionally ready for her to concede at this point in time. Now that is skewed! She lost. The fair rules of winning and losing require sportsmanship and character enough to be a good loser as well as a gracious victor.

Back to the Stanley Cup finals, I have to confess that I didn't see either the game last night (unless a few seconds here and there count) nor the nail-biter Monday night when the Penguins pulled off a win by one in the third overtime (unless a few mintues seated on the couch count). (Sometimes a girl has to do what she has to do which was sleep in my case!) The picture of Penguin Malkin on the ice is a classic study in dejection and disappointment.

We all lose. We may also have some wins along the way. Losing is a big learner! Losing teaches emotional strength and builds character. Paul the Apostle talks to the Corinthian church about not "losing heart." (2 Cor. 4:1) He is talking about faithful, plucky obedience even when we lose! He is talking about how our heart focus matters in the wins and losses of life. He is talking about winning well and losing with grace. He is talking about getting up to try and try again. We have to do that. Hillary has to do that. The Penguins have to do that. And we will all learn and sharpen our strength and character in the painful process of "not losing heart"!

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