In recent years, "You can't win 'em all" has become a stock retort when things go wrong, plans fall through, and hearts break. But not long ago roguish cartoon character "Dennis the Menace" turned the tables on that overworked cliche.
Trapped into watching his friend Margaret perform her new ballet steps, Dennis quickly saw a way out. He cheered her pirouettes.
Margaret, flattered, repeatedly twirled until she got too dizzy to continue. As he departed in a cloud of dust, Dennis exulted, "You can't lose 'em all!" n1
n1 The Sunday Oklahoma,m April 20, 1980.
If we have been slapped down by adversity, we need more than the "moxie" of a Dennis to get over fearing we may indeed "lose 'em all." Christian healing can deliver us from such despair.
Christian healing comforts those who regard themselves as losers.But Christian comfort doesn't bribe with wealth, lavish surroundings, or doting companions. Its message essentially inculcates loss -- the loss of dependency upon matter or mortals. And it does this, not with an appealing promise that each one will get his own way, but with an honest urging of the one divine way shown by God's Son, Christ Jesus, who said, "He that loseth his life for my sake shall find it." n2
n2 Matthew 10:39.
Did Jesus mean we must suffer deprivation, or die, in order to find meaningful, satisfying life? Didn't he rather, by feeding the hungry, healing the sick, redeeming the sinning, and defeating death, show we must lose limitations? Didn't he prove that spiritual man (the true selfhood of each of us) reflects perfect, complete, divine life -- God -- here and now?
Christian marvels are forever attainable. The Apostle Paul paid their price when he gave up being Saul the intrepid winner. He forsook the advantages of influential family and social ties and relinquished a way of life hitherto important to him and still impressive to the world in general. Revising his ideals compelled Paul to revise his sense of identity. He was figuratively reborn.
Was Paul satisfied with his new way of life in Christ, Truth -- a life that followed in Jesus' footsteps? He was so satisfied that he subsequently wrote: "But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win christ.' n3
n3 Philippians 3:7, 8.
Of those who chronically suffer disappointment because they do not know that in Christ, Truth, they have all, the Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, asks: "Do human hopes deceive? is joy a trembler? Then, weary pilgrim, unloose the latchet of thy sandals; for the place whereon thou standest is sacred. By that, you may know you are parting with a material sense of life and happiness to win the spiritual sense of good. O lean to lose with God! and you find Life eternal: you gain all." n4
n4 Miscellaneous Writings,m P. 341.
Perfect life, reflecting the immutability of divine Life, God, can't suffer loss or absorb gain. Perfect life is intact and complete, demonstrable now, as spiritual sense invariably discerns. Actually, the deceitful material senses have no power to impound our attention in their dance of loss and gain. When we reject a false, material sense of things as did Paul, and reform our situation in the light of spiritual understanding, we are ready to go Dennis one better. He couldn't lose 'em all; we can't lose at all.
Christianly scientific prayer will restore whatever one really needs -- both spritually and humanly. But Christian prayer is not a "gimme grab-off"; nor is Christian Science demonstration a getting. By acknowledging the one divine Mind , so that our will is conformed to the good will of God, Christian prayer silences the selfish gimmes and gets, revises values, and spiritualizes lives.
When we understand that it is impossible to lose and not in reality necessary to win the completeness and perfection we perpetually reflect as children of God , then out of devastating defeat can emerge permanent victory. After all, when you have God, you have All. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Let us fall now into the hand of the Lord; for his mercies are great. II Samuel 24:14