Wins and Losses Don’t Matter – by Greg Albrecht
Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. – Matthew 10:39
The purpose of a Christ-centered life is not to gratify or satisfy the self, but to lose ourselves in the cause of something bigger and more important. When we lose ourselves in the service of Jesus, we find life – he gives us his life, and he lives his life in us now and forever. The primary purpose of life that motivates Christ-followers is far beyond merely consuming, acquiring and possessing. The purpose of life for those who walk with Jesus is to lose ourselves in the service of those who are hungry, thirsty, strangers, aliens, in need of clothing, sick and in prison (physically and spiritually – see Matthew 25:34-40).
As Christ-followers our mission is driven by our desire to help those who are impoverished, addicted, enslaved and deceived know and experience the grace and love of God. Our quest is to point others to Jesus, who invites them to embrace him just as he has invited you and me.
Our quest means that our question is not “What’s in it for me?” – our question is “How can I help others?” – and in so doing pass on the grace of our Lord and Savior.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.
– Philippians 2:3-4
In Man of La Mancha, Don Quixote has an “impossible dream” (the unforgettable theme song of the play and movie by the same name) of setting people free from grinding poverty, slavery and misery. He travels the countryside of 16th century Spain, in the time of brutal inquisitions, imagining himself as a warrior knight, assisted by his loyal sidekick.
No matter how hopeless the cause may seem, Don Quixote is willing to “march into hell for a heavenly cause.” Because of his “impossible dream” and hopeless idealism, Don Quixote is a pitiful character on the one hand, but admirable, virtuous and heroic on the other.
He is up against impossible odds and his dream of righting all wrongs is “impossible” but he, on the other hand, gives himself completely over to the service of others.
During his travels to save the world, Don Quixote falls in love with Aldonza, who is a part-time prostitute. Don Quixote’s love is blind, and instead of accepting the reality of Aldonza and her profession, he chooses instead to see Aldonza as a precious and virtuous woman whom he desires to love and protect.
We might say Don Quixote serves as a symbol of God and his love for all humanity, though we are all prostitutes in one way or another. Don Quixote’s “blind” love exemplifies the relentless love of God for you and me, choosing to love us though we don’t deserve his love, lavishing us with his grace and love, choosing us as the virtuous bride of Christ though we are anything but.
Speaking of his life, and his mission, summarized by “The Impossible Dream” Don Quixote tells Aldonza, “Wins and losses do not matter; all that matters is following the quest.”
Jesus has come to set the world free and the gospel of Jesus Christ is good news to the physically and spiritually impoverished – good news to the physical and spiritual prisoners – good news to those who are blind and diseased, physically and spiritually – good news to all who are oppressed, physically and spiritually (see Luke 4:18-19).
This is our collective quest – our combined mission – this is the proclamation that we as Friends and Partners of CWR/PTM make together, pooling our resources, so that we might do more together than we can alone. Our quest is not impossible by any means, though it is difficult. Our quest is to share the good news of the love and grace of God with people who are beaten down, oppressed, sick and infirmed, in debt and depressed.
Our quest is to pass on the incredible news that God’s love is offered without reservation because he chooses to see us as lovable, even when, apart from God, only our mothers would describe us as “lovable.” Our quest is Jesus – our quest is the kingdom of God that Jesus preached and that he embodied – a kingdom that Jesus has been building since his resurrection.
Our quest is a call of freedom for captives and slaves – to be free in Christ means to be rescued from any and all forms of slavery, physical and spiritual. When all is said and done, our quest – God’s kingdom and Jesus, the King of the kingdom, is the only mission – the only calling – the only cause worthy of following without reservation.
The kingdom of God and Jesus, its King, deserves all of our heart and soul and energies and contributions. When our mission is God’s kingdom, then we willingly lose our own self-interests as a priority in favor of supporting a cause that is bigger than ourselves.
Our work at CWR/PTM stands in opposition wherever there is slavery, abuse, addiction, oppression, religious bondage, silly superstitions, un-Christ-like delusions or arrogance and pride that oppose the humility of Jesus. By the grace of God, WE MAKE A DIFFERENCE. As a worldwide media ministry, we are a voice against oppression of any and every kind, and we proclaim Jesus as the answer.
Jesus is what we are all about – all Jesus all the time. This is God’s mission – and we are on it! This is Mission Possible – this is the Possible Dream – this is all Jesus all the time!
Our quest is to make a difference! We lose ourselves in the quest for that which is greater than ourselves – when we make a difference we are actively involved and totally committed – making a difference is the polar opposite of indifference.
When it comes to “making a difference” Elie Wiesel (19282016), author, professor, Nobel Laureate author, Holocaust (Auschwitz) survivor and humanitarian described how important it is to be involved and take a stand, rather than simply observing and watching:
The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.
With the horrific evil and hatred of the Holocaust in mind, I am often reminded of the words of Martin Niemoller, a pastor in Nazi Germany who spent seven years in Nazi concentration camps.
After World War 2 was over, Niemoller was one of a small group of Germans who publicly spoke of the collective complicity and guilt of Germans at large for the atrocities perpetrated by the German Nazis. In the many lectures he gave, he often wondered whether he had done enough, articulating his misgivings with these words:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.
My friends, my brothers and sisters in Christ, my fellow team members and co-workers, fellow partners in our collective media ministry, we must continue to speak out! We are a media ministry with many resources and tools – we are heard, we are read and we are making a difference.
NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO GROW WEARY IN WELL DOING! (Galatians 6:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:13). We cannot afford to even think of giving up – our cause and our mission is critically important – we are involved and privileged to serve in a Christ-centered quest!
As we follow Christ, we affirm the words of Don Quixote: “Wins and losses do not matter; all that matters is following the quest.”
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not
in vain. – 1 Corinthians 15:58
In his precious name,
Friend and Partner Letter from October 2017