Losing & Failure

Battles & Wars

2“It is tough when you have hard news. But Saul was in a very bad situation before. Now I am so happy that he is coming back as a normal guy with a normal life… that for me is more important. It is a big victory.”  
Roger Legeay, Directeur Sportif on return to life


Fierce wind, rugged roads, all kinds of adversity

Fierce wind, rugged roads, all kinds of adversity

Lost battles can lead to bigger victories. It’s in these lost battles that we learn what’s really necessary to overcome for ultimate victory. Failure is a masterful instructor. Perspective is necessary to remain undistracted from purpose and to demarcate priorities.

Even though instructive however, some failures or losses are devastating. Loss of a contract may change a lifestyle. Losses related to illness and injury can destroy dreams. We lose a lot while pursuing a campaign with future objectives, and battle-weary is a frequent state for bike racers.

It is appropriate to react to loss with sadness, self-pity, disappointment, and other emotions that help mourning – so you can move on. Perhaps a current challenge dwarfs anything that came before it. Remembering past challenges strengthens present resolve to manage current challenges. Even a small win is meaningful if a base is established for either fortifying defenses or launching offensives. Likewise, small losses have benefits as tests and training for bigger rewards.

Stories that we consider to be epic are in truth made of ordinary people in unusual places facing impossible circumstances who through providence and fortitude rise to some new height. We are meant to live a wild adventure.

Goodness is worked out by these daily challenges. There’s no escape from this hard but exciting reality. So embrace all that transpires – the winds, the mechanicals, the less than perfect position, the hindering competitor, the self-doubt – and march on one pedal stroke at a time, one painful hill, one lung-bursting surge, as one more defining moment. If there’s one 3little crack of consciousness, stay upright through exhaustion. Many meaningful battles on unremarkable terrain precede winning a war. Get back in formation in the embattling peloton.


Prayer re: Losing & Failure
“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” 41 Timothy 4:8 

We understand that our physical abilities are limited in the pursuit of happiness. We ask for grace to grieve losses and encouragement to think beyond them.             

Ponder Is a current loss just one battle or a devastating defeat? Affirm I can assess damage and ditch my disappointments. Watch the hard continue to ride.


1This is a play on words that refers to a cycling video called The Hard Road, Native Productions – www.thehardroadmovie.com. It’s about the hardness of life as a professional on an under-supported squad. One suffers at all levels of the sport in various ways. Even so, the hard continue to ride.

2“Legeay comments further on Raisin decision,” by Shane Stokes posted 11/07 on www.cyclingnews.com

3The Rider by Tim Krabbe, published by Bloomsbury USA, NY, English translation copyright © Sam Garrett 2002

4New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

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