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Friday, December 17, 2010

Last night a man I admire lost in a very public arena.  It's one thing to fail in private, it's quite another to do so with thousands (maybe millions) watching.  But last night, my friend Ben Henderson, lost his WEC championship belt on national TV.  But did so with the ultimate dignity and grace.

Ben Henderson

Ben trains at the MMA Lab in my home town.  In fact, my husband and I are part owners there, so we feel particularly invested in Ben.  But my post isn't about me, it's about Ben.

We were privileged to be at the fight last night, cheering Ben on.  Ben has a lot of fans because he's a very honorable man - in the octagon and out.  He loves Jesus and he makes no apologies for it.  He lives a quiet life that reflects his faith.  But he's got a warrior spirit in him that comes out in a match. 

Sadly, last night wasn't his night.  His opponent was stronger last night.  Tonight if they fought again, it could end differently.  But last night Ben lost.

However, what impressed me most ... possibly even more than if he had won ... was how he conducted himself after the decision was announced.  Ben congratulated his opponent, then walked around the octagon showing signs of love and appreciation for his fans all around the arena.  I've never seen a fighter do that before. 

Ben modeled honor in losing. 

And it got me thinking about how I handle losing.   Of course, a lot is in how we define losing.  But there are a lot of situations that don't end as we would wish.  Lack of a job promotion.  "No" from a publisher.  Book sales that are low.  Rejection from someone we thought was a friend. 

"Losing" is a part of life.  How we handle it says a lot about us.  Will we walk in dignity or shuffle in pity. 

I'm sure Ben was sad and maybe mad.  As well he should be. But he didn't sacrifice honor.  He didn't sacrifice appreciation for his fans.  He didn't mar his testimony.

We'll be at the Lab at 5 p.m. today to let Ben know we still love and admire him.  He needs to know that, today more than ever. 

And he needs to know that in losing, he made an even bigger impact on some of us.

In His love,



Michelle said...

I pray to be as honorable as Ben some day. Yes losing is a part of our every day life, but as Ben did we should still be thankful and honorable. Ben your a great man of God!

Melanie said...

What an awesome tribute to an exemplary man. What a cool thing you got to be a part of.