Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Losers Made Into Winners

Movies with the most intrigue often have a some type of loser who makes it good! We all like success stories!

With music, the same applies. I remember when a nondescript woman appeared on the television show in 2009 called Britain's Got Talent. People looked at her in awe. She was the epitome of a "loser" because her appearance presented a picture of what losers often look like! However, when Susan belted out her song I Dreamed a Dream she received a standing ovation! Tears came to my eyes because I judged her by appearance. She looked like a loser, but now she's a huge success! That makes a good story and it's true. It's a "feel good" ending!

"Losers" are people who don't fit the mold. I'm not speaking of those in poverty or alone, but people who just don't fit in. Oftentimes, although they try hard, they fail. Others may be prestigious and/or wealthy, but do things which are awful. It appears that when no one else can use "losers", God takes them and makes them "winners"!

Before we move onto my biblical point, I'll speak of myself. I believe that I have been a success. I have bachelor and graduate degrees, was a mid-level manager and engineer in General Motors and could have advanced higher. I turned down eleven promotions. I never had to "have" the prestige of superintendent because I turned those positions down! I refused to relocate my family again  just for promotional opportunities.

I wasn't always a success. My family on both sides came from generations of poverty as far back as the 1700s and before. There were no Herrins nor van Hook's of note in my direct line. Because we lived in little backward Shopville, Kentucky where my dad worked for $1 a day at times, my destiny was to be a sharecropper. Dad received a job at General Motors and we moved to Indiana. I have dated our furniture, appliances, etc. which we had when we moved to little Hazelwood, Indiana; barely on the map! We were living for many purposes in the 1865-1890 time period... and we weren't antique collectors. We were poor and that was how we lived!

In much of my career at different GMC plants and Headquarters I spoke often at meetings. Many of the times I had vice-presidents in attendance during my presentations. Little did they know that they were listening to a Kentucky hillbilly who was presenting processing and design methods for Corvettes! If they knew from whence I came my credibility would have been ridiculed!

I recently met Elaine Chao, Mitch McConnell's successful wife. She came to America from South Korea several years ago in the hold of a cargo ship. She couldn't even speak English! Now she has a doctorate, has been Secretary of Labor and on many prestigious boards and committees. Ms. Chao is a success, but at one time society pegged her a "loser". I really admire her!

Let's take a  look at one of many instances where God picked "losers" as "willing workers". Those losers are remembered and famous even now after two-thousand years!
Luke 5:4 And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! ... when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” 9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” 11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him."
Jesus approached poor fisherman. He didn't look for fisherman whose keels were filled with fish. He looked for "losers'; those who came back from a day of toil empty handed. Imagine, if you will, how discouraged Peter, James and John were when Jesus walked up!  They were failures and knew that they had failed. How were they to provide for their themselves or their families? They worked hard, but had nothing to show for it! They were stereotypical "losers" and were likely teased by those who had a good catch  that day!

Have you thought of something? It was God's will that they work hard and come back empty handed. They were ready to listen, learn and succeed!

If Jesus had been out that day looking for "winners" he would have chosen men whose nets were full. Surely "good" fishermen would make good apostles! That's why Peter, James and John left everything! Jesus chose them, not to fish for fish, but to be fishers of men! It's these three along with nine others who forsook all because Jesus "sold them"!  Jesus was such a tremendous figure that for these three, there was no doubt that Jesus was their hope and strength! Jesus chose men who were "losers" at fishing to be "winners" at fishing for men!

It was because of their despair that they were ready to follow! A rich fisherman would not have left everything to follow a "poor carpenter" who the prideful ridiculed as Joseph's son. Yes, the world considered Jesus a "loser", chiding him as "King of the Jews" in ridicule as he died on the cross. However, little did they know that they just killed divine royalty although this King lived as a servant!

Christianity came about because of a "loser" who was God and "losers" who were desperate enough to look to a carpenter for their hope!  I'm a "loser" too! I was born that way. My family had been losers for generations, but one thing I've found: all my known Herrin and van Hook ancestors were strong Christians. Wherever they migrated one only had to check the church rolls to find the records of their existence! They were faithful Christians and on a spiritual scale, my ancestors were royalty. They were of the "Royal Priesthood" to which all believers belong!

I'm a success even if I had failed! Thanks to my dad and mom God picked me, the "loser" to be part of this "Royal Priesthood" just as he did the "losers" Peter, James and John!  I will never be remembered as they are, but thanks to God, billions of people have followed that "loser" carpenter, who served mankind, due to a large part to three men who were failed fisherman!

Jesus could have come as a king riding a white stallion. He could have ran the Romans back to Rome and ruled the country. Satan even said that he could make that happen; even rule the world. Little did Satan understand that Jesus was already King and the earth is his mere footstool!

God's plan was for Jesus to serve man so that our desire would be to serve him! Serving is loving. That's how Jesus loved. He served mere bread and common bitter wine, not the fattest calf and the finest wine! That bread and wine he served was himself! It was his body and blood which he served to God because what we served wasn't good enough. Jesus served himself to God. He "lost" himself that we may be found! Yes, King Jesus was what the world considered a "loser" as were the apostles. Today they are all kings where they are! Such a positive success story with hope. They ought to write a book about it! Perhaps some would read it.

Oh, for any success that I've had in life; any was given to me by God because on my own I would have been a loser. But the best success that I've had in life is planning for my death. It only required a pragmatic decision: to believe that without God, my eternal destiny is "loser" because losers choose eternal damnation.

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