Be a loser
Lose hustling for your value
Lose trying to impress people
Lose struggling to get others approval
Lose trying to save yourself
Lose the fear that gets in the way of living freely
Lose needing to be “large and in charge”
Lose trusting your safety and worth is in what you possess
Lose the life that is an upward climb to proving your worth
Lose the chains that bind you
Jesus called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Mark 8:34-37
Here are those same verses from Mark 8 in the Message translation;
Calling the crowd to join his disciples, Jesus said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?
For 2018 I committed to being open to the word “enough”. To invite it to guide my journey of following Jesus. In this year of walking with that word enough, I have listened for it in prayer, in scripture, in music, in conversation, and in the counsel I receive from others. This morning in my prayer I realized the connection of my word enough and the life long process of following Jesus which calls us to being losers, losing everything that gets in the way.
Reflecting on God’s grace being “enough” and what it looks like to trust God -has me asking for the Spirit’s guidance to be a loser. Letting go of that which puts me in charge and instead being open to the ways God is at work in and through me necessitates the power of God.
Losing self-will instead praying “Thy will be done”
Losing the fear that I need to earn or deserve God’s unconditional love for me instead trusting God’s grace
Losing comparing myself and competing with others instead practicing acceptance and gratitude
Losing the illusion that I can save myself instead trusting it is God who saves
Losing finding my worth or identity in my career, my roles, my family, my bank account, the home I live in, the things I think know….instead remembering my truest name is “beloved”
As followers of Jesus we are called to lose our lives. The same word for life in Mark 8 can also be translated soul. The list above has items of the type of life to “lose” which is “soul-crushing”.
This weekend we will hear in Mark 10 of the young man who lacks one things. Trust. He wants to hold onto his ways. He wants to prove himself; to prove that he is enough- that he’s done enough, is good enough, has enough.
Jesus tells the young man to let go- to give away- to be unburdened by all that binds him, to give away that in which he mistakenly puts his trust. Jesus looked at this man and loved him. In the young man’s self-righteousness, in his trying to prove he is good enough, holding onto his own strength and in his unwillingness to let go, Jesus loved him.
Jesus looks at each of us and Jesus loves us also. It is a love so deep it is beyond comprehension. This love is a gift. This love includes an invitation to be a loser. To lose that life which is a hustle to deserve God’s love. To lose all that which stands in the way of letting in the amazing grace that looks at you and loves you- just as you are. I hope you will join me in this ongoing journey of being a loser, trusting that you are beloved and beloved is your truest name.