Accept, Adapt, Learn, And Let Others Complain

“I am trying to have a right attitude for my first curling game this coming week,” I told Ed yesterday. He told me that the only frame of mind needed for curling is that you must win your game. I said maybe this would be the year I’ll have a winning attitude, but I have found that the opposing curling teams also always want to win. There is the need to face the challenge of great shots by the other side. The pressure is always on to adapt and learn to make even better-placed rocks than theirs. Being better than your competition isn’t a sure thing. Most of all, I must not complain about slow or fast ice. For an old guy like me, there are a lot of things to keep straight to have the right attitude in curling.

Ed asked me, “Have you heard how popular curling has become?” Before I could say I hadn’t heard, Ed said, “It is sweeping the nation?” Then he was able to get one more lame joke in before I could ask for mercy. Ed asked me, “What did one curling stone say to the other?” He answered again before me, “I won’t take you for granite.” Ed admitted his curling jokes have been around forever, but he felt I needed to hear them.

Ed told me that my opposing curling teams would not devote themselves to making me happy. Curling and other sports are not meant to be easy wins. Life also comes with lots of wins and losses. It is easy to brag about the triumphs and complain about the defeats, but neither boasting nor grumbling is wise. Life keeps calling us to accept our circumstances and, adapt to them, and learn from them. Our wins in life aren’t totally about us, for others and hidden circumstances also contributed our wins.

Curling is about endurance through great shots and the ones that are the opposite. It is about the joy of playing rather than being a spectator. It is about teammates at their best and their worst. A team wins or loses as one. The strongest teams are about mutual encouragement and acceptance among themselves. Good teams take time to develop. The strongest curling teams can crumble without a continual willingness to accept each other, adapt to each others’ strengths and flaws, and learn from their competition.

Jesus gathered a team of disciples to him on earth. Jesus himself was one with His Father in heaven, sent to win salvation for all sinners on earth. Jesus was not seeking recognition for himself. He was a servant to his Father and would bring God’s victory through suffering opposition, and death. His disciples would be His witnesses that He was and is God’s Son who won forgiveness and righteousness for all sinners.

His disciples needed to be Jesus’ witnesses, by being branches of Jesus the true vine. If they remained as branches of Jesus, they would bear much fruit. If they were not a branch of Jesus, they couldn’t bear any fruit. Together with Christ, and His Father in heaven, we bear fruit as branches on Christ’s team. It is similar, to curling where it takes the whole team to win the game.

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