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Lessons Learned from Coming in Last

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My daughter, Emiko, played in her first golf tournament on Wednesday. And while it would be a great story to be able to say she came in first, the truth is she came in last (and by quite a bit). Her score and where she finished in the standings takes nothing away from how proud and amazed I am with how she handled herself. It made me smile when she asked when she could play in another tournament.

After looking back on the day, I thought this post would be about what she learned from playing her first tournament, but it turns out this is about what she taught me.

  1. Coming in last does not ruin your self-esteem – Doing her best and working to get better have given her more confidence than any “everybody gets a trophy” sport she’s ever played in. 
  2. This is life, not Facebook – Facebook is an amalgamation of special moments not a true picture of life. I don’t know how many Facebook moments I’ll have with her, but I’m happy we have life together.
  3. Learning is the lesson – Any situation can be positive if you learn something from it. She didn’t enjoy losing, but I saw her focusing on the things she needed to improve and that’s what made it such a great experience for her.

We Lutherans talk about how God uses our vocations to place us where we can serve our neighbor. In this case, I see how He has blessed me by placing me where I not only serve my daughter, but also learn from her. Oh yeah, it’s also a blessing that her mother “rides” me to take Emiko golfing.

brian@yamabe.net