To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven…A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away;
Eccl. 3:1,6 (NKJV)

I watched the Texas Longhorns and the Oklahoma State Cowboys last night. I was elated that my Longhorns won the game, but I was also cognizant that it was one of those games nobody deserved to lose. Both teams played well enough to win. Both of the young quarterbacks were on their game. Both teams fought and scrapped and took advantage of almost every opportunity.

It reminded me of a poem I stumbled onto a decade or so ago…

Here’s to the Men Who Lose

Here’s to the men who lose!
What though their work be e’er so nobly planned,
And watched with zealous care,
No glorious halo crowns their efforts grand;
Contempt is failure’s share.

Here’s to the men who lose!
If triumph’s easy smile our struggles greet,
Courage is easy then;
The king is he who, after fierce defeat,
Can up and fight again.

Here’s to the men who lose!
The ready plaudits of a fawning world
Ring sweet in victors’ ears;
The vanquished’s banners never are unfurled;
For them sound no cheers.

Here’s to the men who lose!
The touchstone of true worth is not success;
There is a higher test —
Though fate may darkly frown, onward to press,
And bravely do one’s best.

Here’s to the men who lose!
It is the vanquished’s praise that I sing,
And this is the toast I choose:
‘A hard-fought failure is a noble thing!
Here’s to the men who lose!’
-George L. Scarborough

To the men who lose

America loves a winner. We love front-runners and underdogs (who win.) We celebrate the victors while relegating the vanquished to historical footnotes. And that makes us…no different from any other people populating planet Earth.

Ah, the thrill of victory!

Oh, the agony of defeat!

If you have been long in this world, you have experienced both. One is sweet; the other bitter. But both are invaluable.

If you never lost, how would you know how good winning could feel? If you never failed, how would you know how sweet the taste of success? Babe Ruth knew the feeling of success. He hit more home runs than anyone else in his day. He also knew better than anyone the bitterness of failure, because he led the world in strikeouts.

Think about it! The best in the world fail more than they succeed. No one wins all the Super Bowls or all the World Series or all the Masters’ jackets…

Show me a person who never fails and I will show you a person who never accomplishes anything worthwhile.

That business venture of yours may meet with wild success…or you may have to close your doors soon. Your proposal may be accepted, or it may be rejected. You may ace that test or you may barely squeak by. Regardless, if you have laid it all on the line, if you have done the absolute best you can do, then you have won! You have won the smile of God. You have won the admiration of those who know you best and love you most. And you have won the right to lick your wounds, learn from your mistakes, reload your gun…and fire again.

A Thought for Today: The loser is not the one who does SOMETHING and fails; the loser is the one who does NOTHING and succeeds.

A Prayer For Today: “Father, help me to meet the challenges of my life with determination and commitment. If I stumble, steady me; if I fall, pick me up; if I go the wrong way, stop me. But help me, Lord, never to quit. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

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Copyright 2012 The Journey Man


By Gene

I am a lover, a fighter, and a midnight writer. I love football, hamburgers, and philosophical inquiries. I love Jesus more than any of that. I love my wife, my daughters, my grandson, and my English Setters, Huck and Finn. I also love Huck Finn...and other seminal characters in American literature. Like Gus McCrae. I love the English language. I love to dive into the wonders of its depth and splash around in the shallow end where colloquialisms and slang rule and reign.
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  • beckerqueiroz

    I enjoyed reading your post. I came upon it on searching for that inspiring poem. Thank you.

  • DoomsDaddy

    beckerqueiroz thank you

  • David Balfour

    I also enjoyed reading your post. I also came upon it on searching for that inspiring poem (in order to put it on my blog). I also thank you. And – incredible as it may seem – beckerqueiroz who “came here” some months ago is my brother! 🙂 God bless you.

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