My oldest son is in the military. Today he called me on the phone. He was so angry. I could hear the tension in his voice. After the sound of the fighter jet roared over him, he expressed emotions with little reserve.
He told me all about that he has had to go through. I got the recap on all of his qualifications, time, education, etc. “Today they called up two individuals in front of the command and just promoted them,” my son said. “It is not even time for promotions. What makes it worse is that one of the guys has less time, education, and quals (qualifications) than I do . . . now I am out-ranked by an idiot.”
He did not have to go any further. I completely understood his frustration, but was concerned that he was feeling “like a loser.” I knew that my son had an understanding that the only correct response was to congratulate the two men, then get back to work, even if his inner child was shouting “not fair” and “why me?”
I told my son that he was angry about a situation that he could not control: outcomes. Much as in a sport or game, we feel that the team or players who work harder deserve the win. Sometimes we even proclaim that they will win. However, this is never certain. When we don’t win, we can make it even worse if we focus on the other individual or team and compare who does or who doesn’t deserves something.
King David Asks, “Why Me?”
In the book of Psalms, David dealt with a similar lack of understanding in chapter 13 (v 2):
How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
Being overlooked, losing, and/or being unappreciated is not a new thing. Sometimes we can do all the right things, but not win. We can be the best, but not be chosen. What matters is how we respond. Do we throw a fit or give up? No. We dig deep and fight harder. We study more, we pray more. We keep moving forward. In doing so, we bring glory to God and an affirmation of our character.
–-By David Hethcock, Admissions Officer and Tech Support Specialist