Reflections by Jeremy Alger

Vin Scully died last year. He was the announcer for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team. He was an icon in the sports broadcasting world. You have probably heard his voice even if you aren’t a baseball fan. His calls were featured in numerous movies and TV shows.
I recently saw a quote from him that rang true, but upon further reflection (which is what this column is all about) I think I can fix the problem for everybody. Scully said that “losing feels worse than winning feels good.”
Can you relate to that sentiment? I have certainly found myself underwhelmed by the glow of victory a few times in my life. We all know how much it stings to lose. I think we pile those pains up and hope/expect a win to wash it all away. I have even found myself disappointed so much that you might consider me mildly depressed when I’ve won or accomplished something that I thought was going to pay off with a great feeling that didn’t live up to what I was hoping for.
Proverbs 14:12 tells us that “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.” I can’t think of a lot of times that winning results in actual death, but I suspect that the author was talking about our eventual destination. The way that leads to death is the way that doesn’t follow God or accept Jesus Christ as our Savior.
I think it is a fair assumption to say that the way that appears to be right to the common person is not the way that honors and follows God. I think that we experience the pain of losing as a glimpse of our lives apart from God. But when we win at things that are not in line with God’s desire we do not have the life affirming experience that God wants for us.
One really easy example is playing video games. I do that a bit, but from time to time it occurs to me that if I am successful in the game it really means nothing. I have accomplished nothing. Can I tell you that video games aren’t the only meaningless pursuit that we chase after in life today?
I believe that is the reason that winning doesn’t feel better than losing feels bad. When we lose we are looking into the abyss of a life that misses the mark. But when we win in meaningless pursuit it is only a brighter version of that same abyss that we look into.
When we find the life worth living, the life worthy of the price that Jesus paid for it, when we find the life that honors and follows God, our victories look into the glorious future of an eternity with God in heaven! That is the victory that is far better than our defeats feel bad.
I know plenty of folks who have found their purpose in life as Jesus followers and they are not daunted by the trials and pitfalls in life because they have experienced the great blessing of victory in Jesus.
I don’t know anything about Vin Scully’s spiritual life. But I believe that he was correct in what he said within the context of baseball, and most every other pursuit. We will never feel as uplifted, happy and satisfied in life as we do when we are living a life that is pleasing to the Lord.
Jeremy Alger is the pastor of the New Cumberland Church of the Nazarene. For more information please visit