Devastating Loss

The NBA playoffs started Saturday, and the Chicago Bulls, while winning their opening game, suffered the most devastating loss of their campaign. With about a minute and a half to go in a game that was pretty much in hand, Derrick Rose, the Bulls’ best player and the reigning NBA MVP, crumpled to the floor with a crushing injury. Rose’s torn ACL put him on the sidelines for the rest of the playoffs—just as those playoffs are getting started. The analysts universally said that Rose’s injury effectively removes Chicago from the championship discussion. They may win a series, perhaps even two. But, according to the so-called experts, this opens the door for the Miami Heat to roll through the East and eventually to the NBA title. Whether that is how it plays out or not remains to be seen. What is clear is that this was a massive loss for the Bulls, and it will be hard to overcome.

In life, however, not all losses are bad. In contemplating his heritage, training, and commitment as a strict and passionate adherent of Judaism, the apostle Paul said:

But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ (Philippians 3:7-8).

In spite of all of the benefits, tradition, and legacy involved in his background, Paul counted it all “loss” for Christ. This is remarkable when you consider the extent of his devotion to Judaism. His level of devotion was so intense that Paul (formerly Saul) was involved in the persecution, imprisonment, and murder of followers of Christ. Now he has joined them—and all those things he thought worthy of his devotion were set aside for the true worthiness of Christ. Yes, sometimes a loss can be a good thing—especially if it is the loss of  something that prevents us from being fully devoted followers of Christ.

 

Bill Crowder, Sports Spectrum Chaplain