Monday, June 27, 2011

Defeat and Victory

The theme of our weekend family gathering was golf. The purpose may have been to celebrate one son's graduation from the Sheriff Explorer Academy, but when this group of guys gets together, the theme is golf. For them, especially since one of them made his college golf team, it is a consuming sport: the backyard was dusted with golf balls, the talk was of golf, the plans were of golf. On Sunday, the guys went - guess where - golfing. A shopping trip to a beautiful outdoor mall was the gal's alternative: a relaxing, wander around, enjoy the sights afternoon. Surprising to me, a scene that stands out in my memory is about - guess what - golf.

In one of the store windows, a banner hung with this quote:
"Own your defeats and you will be defined by your victories."

The story is of Rory Mcilroy, 2011 US Open Champion, a story probably familiar to you already; a young man who accepted defeat, learned from it, and had the courage to move forward to victory. He was not defeated by disappointment, but strengthened by it and from it created a stepping stone to go where he wanted to go. Most of us are not facing defeats and victories that will bring us world-wide fame. Ours are on a smaller scale of relationships and daily grind.  Yet, aren't they the same?  The things that make or break us are determined by the choices we make.  Will we be defeated by the disappointments, or will they strengthen us?
This weekend I began reading A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, How I Learned to Live a Better Story, by Donald Miller. What story will our lives tell?  Who will our character (ourselves) become?  What lessons will our character learn as s/he  overcomes the challenges, conflicts and obstacles along the way? On a personal, specific level, what choices will I make to tell an interesting story with my life? What will your story be like?


  1. Great post! So much truth here. How I want to drill this principle into the heads of some of my students - they are so easily disappointed by inconsequentials.
    Joy to you!
    Miss Kathy

  2. I've heard great things about that book...must put it on the list. I want my children to see an overcomer in me...that's what I've been working on the last few months. Great post, thanks, Maureen.

  3. Yes, Brooke, I kept reading great blogs and recommendations about the book, too. When one of our sons gave me a Barnes and Noble gift card, I knew exactly what book to look for first. It made me laugh and cry all at the same time, and gave me lots to think about. When you read it, let me know what you think.