Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Winning by Losing

Strangely, two of MY teams made the next round of their respective competitions yesterday... even though they lost.

First, the Australian Twenty 20 team made it to the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup despite losing to Pakistan in their final round robin game. Because they had not previously lost a game in the tournament they only needed a better run rate than the other one loss teams. So after a calamitous start they focused on reaching the run rate target of 112 rather than the 150 needed to win the match.

Hopefully, it's a case of lose the battle, but win the war. Although, if their opponents keep bowling 5 spinners per match the Aussies may find scoring difficult! Next up are the West Indies. I don't imagine there's any chance of 5 spinners from the Windies.

Second, after winning the World Series from the wildcard position last year, the St. Louis Cardinals have struggled to make even the second wildcard spot this year. There are some points to admire about the team: runs differential, team batting average (2nd in NL), pitching quality starts (T2nd in NL). But they've not been able to string enough wins together to really seize their wildcard chance, or to get close to even Atlanta for the first wildcard position.

The Cards benefit from the Pirates 2nd half collapse. The Brewers chased for a while, then lost their hot streak. Finally, it was only the Dodgers two games behind St Louis. With two games to play the Dodgers would have to win their last two and the Cards lose theirs if the teams were to switch places. On Tuesday the Cards did their bit, losing (3-1)at home to Cincinnati. But the Dodgers were unable to capitalise. They lost (4-3) to the Giants, and now the Cardinals are playoff bound. I'll be amazed though if they get past the one game shoot out with the Braves on Friday.

Moral, Christians also win by losing. Jesus said in Luke 9:23-24, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it." (NLT) Losing isn't always as bad as it seems in the moment. Sometimes it leads to greater glory. With Jesus, it definitely does!

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