Wednesday, March 7, 2007

The Need to Win?

Throughout my life I have been extremely competitive. I rarely do things that I know I will not have success at. Now by no means am I saying that I am successful, though. I simply skip a lot of activities that would probably be enjoyable and only stick to the things I can do well.

Recently, however, my competitive attitude has begun to soften. I sometimes even find myself annoyed when people take things too seriously. I am currently on an intramural basketball team at the University of Sioux Falls where I play on a team with other staff members. I think I probably bring the average age of the team down 10 years or so. Needless to say, we did not win our first game. This is a struggle for me to be encouraging to others, but it is a great challenge and is teaching me the importance of teamwork and simply enjoying the people around you.

We can get so wrapped up in comparing ourselves to others and proving ourselves superior, that we miss the point of the activity we're participating in. We can get so involved in excellence and the end destination that we miss the journey and the people we're traveling with. May we be people who always strive for greatness, but understand the futility of competition. May we truly comprehend Jesus' words that 'those who want to be great must be a servant, and those who want to be first must become last.'


  1. wow, can I relate to this dilemma. I, like you, do not often engage in those things I do not do well. I am finding that to be more egotistical on my part.
    I think a good teacher of that is my son, Xavier. By watching him I understand some of his personality quirks. If he does not latch onto something the first time, he is apt to throw a tantrum and claim that " I can't do it, I quit." Wow. Where did he learn this at the tender age of 2? Did I subconsciously send him that message, or does it further explain the attitude of our society? I am unclear.
    One thing I am clear on, is the need for less competition and more human treatment of one another. Jesus showed no sense of competition when it came to working with the people. It was never an issue as to who could convert more to Christ, it was more about finding the link from people to people and building community.
    I, like you, struggle with this. In striving to be the best, does that always mean I have to be top dog?

  2. I like your Rob Bell like blessings at the end of your blogs these days.

  3. I have been listening to Rob Bell every week now for about 4 years, so no wonder he is rubbing off on me. There are probably worse things in the world though, than to be similar to Rob Bell.