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The Purpose of Winning & Losing

I'm a fan of the TV show Vikings, and have recently started watching The Last Kingdom on Netflix. My husband and I have talked a lot about the portrayal of religion in both shows, but particularly lately as we've watched Kingdom.

As portrayed in the show, the Christians prayed for protection, support, success, answers—whatever—then took a relatively passive position as they waited for God's blessing. When they didn't receive that miracle, they assumed it was their failing, that they hadn't earned the favor of God.

The Vikings, however, essentially believed that the Gods worked in them. That through their hard work and passion, they would prove themselves worthy of the Gods' attention and favor. If they failed, they assumed they hadn't tried hard enough.

One leads to self-flagellation and inaction, while the other leads to courage and my favorite motto ever, "try, try again."

I think I'd rather be a Viking. At least when it comes to worthiness.

Whatever you believe, I hope you know that failure is never an indication of unworthiness.

Failing is an opportunity to reevaluate. Maybe what you're doing doesn't need done. Or it's not where you should be putting your attention. Or maybe you need to go about it a different way. Maybe you weren't as prepared the first time as you thought.

Failure is an opportunity to grow.

And if you win—that doesn't mean that the person who lost is less worthy of the win as you are. Winning is a reflection of your preparedness and hard work.

I think God blesses both the winner and the loser—it's just that the blessings are different. One is meant to help you grow, while the other is meant to help you learn.

Your worthiness is established and known. Your worthiness is determined by your existence. If you exist, you've already passed the worthiness test. Because you are worthy. We all are. Good, bad and ugly—each of us is as worthy as the other. You and me, bro. We're in this together.

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