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Losing On Purpose

Good morning. It is Thursday, July 29, 2021

I took 3 days off from work as my sister is visiting from California.

Whenever we are together, we sing. We sing old gospel songs like Farther Along and In the Garden, we sing silly songs like Bird of Paradise and You Can’t Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd , we sing not-so-old songs from Whitney Houston; we love to sing together. She sings harmony to my melody. There is something very special about sister’s voices. They blend and match.

As we were trying different songs a couple of days ago and I asked her if she knew the old song “United We Stand.” She was not very familiar, and I could only remember the chorus, but it reminded me of a story I heard not too long ago.

“For united we stand. Divided we fall

And if our backs should ever be against the wall

We'll be together, Together, you and I.”

We cannot ‘do’ life alone. We need helpers and encouragers.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 tells us to encourage one another and build one another up. That is what she does for me.

I have told her several times “I wish you lived with me.” And I truly mean it. She is the type of person that does not get on your nerves. She loves to cook. She loves to sing. She likes to reminisce. I just love her being around me. Especially now that Wendell is gone; I find myself getting very sad and lonely when she leaves.

She is finishing up her thesis and will soon be a Math Professor. She is already teaching college math. She is driven and she makes good decisions. I am so proud of her.

This is the story I want to share with you today.

When we’re forced to make a split-second decision, our true colors are often on full display.

Ivan Fernandez Anaya showed his character on a racetrack in Navarra, Spain, and in the process, he wound up showing the world what true sportsmanship looks like! Ivan is a long-distance running from Spain who competes in cross country and marathon races.

Ivan was just about to finish a cross country race when he noticed Abel Mutai, a Kenyan athlete who’d been in the lead, began to slow down as he approached the finish line. Abel did not speak Spanish, so he got confused by the signs and thought he had already won. Ivan saw what was happening in an instant and could have easily darted past his opponent to win the race himself. Instead, he slowed his own pace and pointed Abel towards the real finish line so he could win.

“He was the rightful winner,” Ivan said later. “He created a gap that I couldn’t have closed if he hadn’t made a mistake. As soon as I saw he was stopping, I knew I wasn’t going to pass him.”

Everyone who witnessed the race was rightfully impressed with Ivan’s actions! He didn’t hesitate to do the right thing, proving that being a good sport is still one of the most important aspects of sports. Later, a journalist asked Ivan why he didn’t take the opportunity to win the race and he laid out his reason for doing the right thing.

“My dream is that someday we can have a kind of community life,” he answered simple. When pressed and reminded he was seconds away from winning the race himself, he told the journalist, “But what would be the merit of my victory? What would be the honor of that medal? What would my mom think of that?” (Source:

Ivan showed humility. He put someone else ahead of his own desires and interests. He lived Philippians 2:3-5!

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

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