Dabo Swinney, most beloved inspirational speaker, occasionally has to remind his players, coaches, fans, and perhaps even himself that G-d teaches us through losses as much as if not more than wins. A powerful loss presents the most effective teaching moment there is.
When we are suddenly shaken by an unexpected outcome or heartbreaking event, we are being called to respond: it is time to take the next step, to peel away the layer that we have been wearing and expose a new fresh and more sensitive awareness to the world. This is how growth takes place.
This new consciousness improves one’s awareness of one’s abilities and weaknesses. It improves one’s vision and recognition of one’s role and influence in the world. It improves one’s ability to see and hear G-d. (It improves one’s ability to hear Dabo.) It improves one’s perspective of how one’s present moment relates to all of it…the past, the future, eternity, the world.
It is now Lent. It is also Spring … and the season of Spring Practice. There is evidence of new life everywhere in the fresh green shoots and reports of half-scrimmages. The team is being called to peel off last year’s issues, last year’s thinking, last year’s values, and to reveal this year’s new maturity, fresh vision, and upgraded awareness of their place in G-d’s creation.
“The work of Lent — is to face the unconscious values that underlie the emotional programs for happiness and to change them. Hence the need of a discipline of contemplative prayer and action.”
— Thomas Keating, The Mystery of Christ
(I borrowed the image of Dabo from Forbes.com)