I don’t want to lose in order to win!

I was reading a story I thought was terribly sad.  A couple broke off because of messy circumstances and a wish not to hurt the other.  But I don’t get it.  I wanted them to be more trustworthy and faithful.  I wanted them to believe in each other and be willing to depend on each other while remaining vulnerable.  Maybe it wouldn’t have been practical for them to remain together, but I believed they loved each other truly, and in my thought, love would win over practical concerns.  I wanted them to choose something that would help them heal from phobias and insecurities, not perpetuate them.

Now their lives are complicated and messy, and the lives are their friends’ are affected as well.  They have been dealing with a mutual friend’s grief over losing her husband.  So, they have to see each other and deal with making prudent, hedged-in decisions.  And I want forgiveness for their mistakes and real hope for them to reconcile.  But then the guy’s new girlfriend goes and gets jealous and tells the widow that “She is all better and doesn’t need her best friend at her side anymore.”  Wow!  Harsh!  And the woman was just starting to go through the motions of living a life again.  Just beginning that process of ‘normal’ life.  Of course she needs her best friend still.  And her best friend also needs her.  They shouldn’t have to be apart because of a jealous girlfriend.  A reasonably jealous girlfriend, but still not making a good move and probably won’t get the desired result either.

And all this to say I am an optimist in spite of everything.  I really believe that a happy ending is possible no matter how messy or mistaken things become.  And it is true, really true, I believe it!

Which brings us to the idea of I won’t lose in order to win.  And I won’t.  I don’t believe it.  I don’t want my victory marred by defeat.  I don’t want my win to come at the cost of a loss.  But is that realistic?  The world would say, “No”.  “You want to accomplish, you have to make sacrifices.”  “You can’t have everything.”  I played a game that was strange in its optimism, but it was telling the story of life after victory, a new beginning of life with hope.  And at the end, the main character said, “I don’t want battles where we have to lose in order to win.  And she was right.  She had won before, but lost someone precious in the process, and joy of victory was diminished by regret and sadness.

And if I believe in a life of hope, which I do, and I believe in victory, which I do, then I can’t believe in regret.  It might seem heretical, when Jesus was our sin offering, our sacrifice to God.  Shouldn’t we be dying and sacrificing as well?  Not anything we should be keeping.  What can I possibly lose that was good, when I gain God instead?  My sin, I can’t claim as good and I won’t miss it.  My self, that horrible demonic thing bent on sin and spreading misery because it is miserable; I won’t lament that tyranny.  The truth is I lose nothing that was really good.  Everything imperfect will get sifted so what remains is the best of what there was already, what I really wanted in whatever it was that was worth wanting.

Philippians 3:7 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.

Whatever I had used to secure my life under false pretenses I should lose because it was false.  It seems that what we lose was rubbish holding us down.  To lose sin, evil and death is itself a gain.

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Moreover, I give up nothing, but receive the gift from Christ.  So, even if I don’t sacrifice but receive, does Jesus lose something to win us?  I refuse to believe something that makes God less by making His design remorseful.  Because how can I celebrate with God if I think, “But if only we had never sinned, then Jesus wouldn’t have had to die for us.”  That is rubbish, God might suffer to win His Glory, but I refuse to believe He lost anything.  I refuse to believe that when there is perfection and joy that anything might dampen that because of a good thing lost.  So some suffering must not be loss.  It must be true, but how and why and explanations I cannot give.  Victory without defeat.  Wins without losses.  Joy without sorrow.  I believe God knows what is best and made the best possible world.  I cannot even recognize God’s definition of best, the idea is beyond me.  But I feel assured that even my mistakes, I will look back on without regret, knowing God who is love and good, was there as well.  When I came up short, He came through and that will be worth celebrating.

2 Corinthians 7:10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

Jude 1:24-25 Now to him who is able  to keep you from stumbling and to present you  blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Maybe I am wrong, but the idea of happiness without any lingering sadness makes me want to cheer.  And God who is love and really real is definitely happiness that satisfies.

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Intensity.

Intensity is a scary thing.  I hate uncontrollably sobbing but I love swimming in anticipation of pleasure.  Adrenaline from nervousness leaves death lingering inside my organs.   Seeing someone with love spreads warmth and sunshine over my muscles.  Fear makes my skin so dry and itchy I want to scrape it off.  Living with intensity hurts.

I have so much on my to-do list.  I overslept.  I still feel tired.  Is that the shape of my nose now?  That is not attractive.  I should put moisturizer on my face.  Ick.  I hate how this feels.  I shouldn’t think about it.  My throat hurts.  I love TV.  Wow, that is so sad.  My throat is constricting.  Let’s hem pants.  Needle in, needle out.  Needle in, needle out.  This song reminds me of winter.  Prick.  Ouch.  My stomach has started to ache.  What did I eat today?  It wasn’t very healthy.  Brownie is barking.  Who put her outside?  My throat still hurts.  My eyes sting now.  I got licked.  My knees are stiff.  Maybe I am too fat for my frame.  Too much weight is pressuring my knees.  I can’t lose weight.  I’m not going to cry.  Mother’s Day flowers are all wilted.  They don’t smell like spring anymore.  The roses are black.  Now my face is wet.  Everything dies.  My throat aches.  I can’t breathe.  What am I going to do about my to-do list?  Tears have blurred my vision.  My friends expect me at six.  I am gasping for breath.   Dog’s nose doesn’t seem as wet as my face.  I can’t stop and I can’t breathe.  My throat is on fire.  I feel so sad and hopeless and tired.  My neck is strained and tense.  I am exhausted.  I am exhausted from crying.  Garbled sounds are coming out of me between frantic, heaving gasps for air.  That is how I define hysteria.

17 Again!

So, I went to see the new movie, 17 Again.  Yep, totally your typical highschool film and totally your typical Freaky Friday main character time warp.

But GOOD!

I mean really good.  Probably the best film I have seen since I saw Slumdog Millionaire and this is fun and realistic violence-free.

Okay, all the pros:

  • Good cinemtography, that doesn’t draw the attention to itself, but features a lot of close-ups which is good for heart/soul pictures.
  • Nice editing.  Quite a few really fast cuts for music montages or flash backs.  But that was upbeat and fun.
  • For this type of movie, it had good special effects.  The face in the whirlpool and the running through the hall of water of transformation-awesome! The slow-downed shock scene might not have been special effects, but a good character-driven and experiential decision.
  • Music was not terribly memorable, but definitely story-moving and appropiate for the scenes.  Crazy elfish, epic-style music for meeting your true love, hilarious.  I liked the big music buildup when Mike chose to be there for his girlfriend and didn’t hesitate about that decision.
  • Jim Gaffigan.  Period.  He was in it, therefore the movie deserves props.  He wasn’t funny, but I love him and they gave him fake red hair.  I heart Gaffigan.
  • Great story.  Now yes, it was a moralistic, journey type tale in that vein.  Like, Never Been Kissed.  The core story though started out well, pretty succient, got to the trouble needing fixed pretty simply, and wrapped up super quick.  Meaning it left the bulk to be the fun 17 again stuff. But great one-liners, mostly Zac’s, and pretty clean story-telling.  Plus, some of the over-the-top situations (dancing with cheerleaders, nerd and literature, slaps, never going back speech, daughter’s misdirected affections) were hilarious.  They kept the film light and fun, versus being too corny and too slapstick.  I liked the corny lines, I like the midget comment.  I get to be a glorified midget wrangler.  Also, it was a pretty good hero tale, because he didn’t fail too much.  Slapstick is hard to watch if you see the main character just get humilated over and over again, but Mike really could make a difference, and wasn’t too down on himself too much.  Except losing that job, that was sad.  And literally getting beat up so much.  But beyond that, you could root for your hero and see him succeed.  That is nice, I like that.
  • Zac Efron was a good choice.  That kid has skills.  Unfortunately, that kid is an artful actor.  Shame for my next 10 years, at least.  
  • Overall, good casting, with the two exceptional choices already highlighted.

Now, some indifferent or sad points:

  • It is a Zac Efron vehicle.  It is, he and Jim Gaffigan, make that film.  But for all the hotness, basketball skills, and great lines, Zac is still really good.  He is 22 and played I am so over Highschool and an adult well.  Maybe that is just him, and he would have a hard time playing drama king or comedy loser role.  But then again, with those looks, would he need to.  Definitely good movie but it is his movie and that hurts one’s pride.
  • They never mention what happened about that pregnancy 20 years ago when their oldest child is a senior, meaning 17 or 18 years old.  But that isn’t as bad as I thought, because it emphasizes he did give a lot up to run out of that game.  And still get married.  Regardless if it was a miscarrage, still birth, or false call, the truth was that he held on to that promise that they were together, and made that-a marriage-work!  Until he kept feeling like a failure and wanted to have it to do over again.  So, added some more depth to regret, because he wouldn’t have had to run out of the game and could have still had the girl … or could he?
  • I wish I had made that movie.  I thought it was a truimph of what that type of story should be.  And so, yeah, those feelings are sad.  I don’t want longing that way.

So, yeah, not too many complaints.  Very fun, very good movie.

Apparently the token guy who was willing to watch it with us can use it as proof of his friendship to the inviter always.  Also funny.