What to do with losses

So I'm sitting here Monday evening, opening my laptop and wondering how to sum up the emotions of our weekend here in the Yoder house. We just came home hours ago from Ted's final competition of the year. Rising Stars is a Wisconsin based variety show looking for talent from the Midwest, whose auditions began this spring and whose Premier Show was before a live audience Sunday evening. (You may not have heard that back in June I pushed Ted in to 3 different talent competitions because they seemed like good opportunities and because we had a very slow June that we decided to fill with something rather than nothing.) The kids and I splurged on hotel rooms, tickets and extra gas money this weekend so we could all go with Ted to Madison to cheer him on in his pursuit of excellence in the Final round. Yay! We hoped for the opportunity to celebrate a prize placement with him and enjoy a cool live show as a family at the same time.

The auditorium was a beautifully renovated antique 1,800 seat theater and the house was close to standing room only with enthusiastic audience members who clapped and cheered and took pride in the fact that all of the talent on display were from the robust Midwest. (Hear some Wisconsin born pride in my tone of voice there?) There were hip hop dancers, vocalists, singer/songwriters, a boy fiddler, hang drums, a trio of ballerinas, and even a 12 year old Broadway Annie type of act halfway through the show. Among the favorites for our family were: a young man doing card trick illusion (VERY good!), an Americana singer/guitarist that I really enjoyed, a young man doing blues acoustic guitar and singing with a looper pedal, and of course, our very own Ted. :) Ted unfortunately did not place in the prize-winning category, and while that is not totally devastating, it does sting a bit and takes a few days to just sort through mentally.

Even before the show the kids and I heard people reading through their programs and making comments like, "Ooh! Walking in Memphis... on the hammered dulcimer. That's going to be good!" so I was confident that Ted's act had appeal and our hopes ran high that the judges would name him a winner.
When Ted texted me after the show to ask how he did, my first reply was, without hesitation, "Splendid!" Sometimes in performances, especially competitions, the nerves run a little high and it takes a while to get into the right groove, or the first vocal notes are shaky, but Ted was so spot on from the very start that I didn't have any explanations for why he was not named a winner.

Leaha, bless her!, caught most of the performance on video so I'll post it here for you to enjoy at the close of the blog. When she played it back for Ted on the ride home today, even he cocked his head and said, "Wow, good acoustics! Nice recording." Somehow enjoying the video helped us to deal with the bad news and appreciate the beauty of the night anyway.I think it helped us to shake our shoulders, unpack our bags, reflect on the fun things like the running jokes made in the van and the blessing of the other performers we met there whom we hope we can keep in touch with. Ted was not the only deserving man there who did not win an award in MY humble opinion! 

I don't have answers for what to do with the loss but to go through it together and talk about it here with you too. It's easy to jump up and down and write a post when Ted wins. I find it harder to write words when there's no happy Pollyanna ending to report. Still it seems comforting to tell the story to those who love what Ted does and want to see him win like we do. Phrases from Ecclesiastes are floating in my peripheral mind's eye. Does it say in there that there is a time for losing too? (sigh) Well this is one place where I don't have full understanding, but I want to still have rest. I suppose in life the winning wouldn't be so precious without the losses mixed in there too. I don't know where you all are at, and you may be dealing with loss even greater than this little one we experienced Sunday, so consider this blog a little Hope Flare to remind us all to share our burdens, big and little and to look for the Prince of Peace in every situation.

Without further contemplations- here is a wonderful performance from Ted, singing and playing Mark Cohen's "Walking In Memphis"