// Do you ever have days when you feel completely overcome by the world around you? I do. Maybe not as much as I used to, but every now and again it still happens.
I remember a season when our pastor had a catch-phrase that he would ask everyone when he met them. He’d say, “Are ya winning?”
I hated that phrase. I mean, I didn’t hate the actual words, and I certainly didn’t hate him, but I dreaded having to answer those three words…
“Are ya winning?”
Am I winning? Oh heck, I don’t think so. But if I’m not winning, that must mean that I’m losing. It must mean that I’m a lose-er.
“Are ya winning?”
I remember avoiding Pastor Louis ‘like the plague’ during that season. If I saw him on one side of the church, I’d go to the other. If I saw him standing in the front parking lot, I’d drive around to the back lot. I couldn’t bear the thought of having to answer that one little question.
“Are ya winning?”
But of course, the inevitable must happen. You can’t avoid your pastor forever. Sure enough, one day I walked through the front door of the church just in time to run right into his smiling face asking me,
“Shauna, are ya winning?” //
Now, you’d think that the answer would be clear and easy, but it wasn’t. We had recently moved to South Africa, and I was suffering badly with culture shock, homesickness, and depression. I was trying my best to hide it under a guise of friendliness and pastoral politeness, but inside I was dying.
So, I said the only politely honest thing I could muster. “Can you tell me what winning looks like, cuz I really don’t think I’m winning?”
He looked shocked for a brief moment; I don’t think he expected such bluntness from me. He tilted his head slightly, thought for a moment, and then answered,
If you've heard God’s voice and obeyed it, you’re winning. Click To Tweet
“Well, if you lay your head on your pillow tonight and you have heard God’s voice and obeyed it, you’re winning.”
I gasped. That’s it? That’s what winning looks like? Why have I been beating myself up for what I considered ‘underperforming?’ The guilt and shame lifted and I could finally see what was happening.
I exhaled and exclaimed,
“Well, praise God! I’m not on a plane right now, so I must be winning!”
On paper, this emotional encounter with my pastor sounds much sillier than it did in real life, but that moment radically changed my perspective. I used to think that winners were only those who experienced massive success in business or ministry, had perfect relationships, and never struggled with their emotions.
But it’s not true.
God doesn’t grade us according to what man sees, does He?
“The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7b NLT).
My friends, being a winner is simple… hear, obey, and let God bring the results. It’s not your job to MAKE success happen. It’s not your job to MAKE your emotions feel better. It’s your job to hear and obey every day.My friends, being a winner is simple… hear, obey, and let God bring the results. Click To Tweet
Just spend time with your Heavenly Father and let Him help you with your heart. Let Him fill you with His presence.
Jesus said it this way…
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Love you so much,
Today is DAY 5 of the 31 Day Challenge, and I am using it to explore UNFORCED RHYTHMS OF GRACE—how to live an amazing life without burning out or losing my joy.
Am I perfect at this? Definitely not, but I’m on a mission to do it better. Thank you for joining me on this journey!
You know the drill… Five minutes of free writing, no editing, and then let the creativity flow. // marks the start and stop of the timer.
Today’s prompt word is OVERCOME, and we are linking up with the writers over at Five Minute Friday and Crystal Stine’s Write 31 Days.
To read more 31 DAYS OF UNFORCED RHYTHMS, click here!