I wonder if we don’t spend so much time admiring Atticus that we forget about his failure. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus does not win the court case. Isn’t it curious that Atticus Finch, voted the greatest hero in 20th Century Film by the AFA, is a loser in court? If you get right down to it – Atticus, as far as we know, has NEVER won a criminal court case. Scout tells us at the beginning of the novel that her father’s last two criminal clients were also the last two hanged in Maycomb County – interesting that we admire someone who simply doesn’t win.
Basketball was kind of a second religion in my family, my dad had played in college and all of us kids played as well. He had been an educator and a coach and would often to say to me that he believed a player’s true character would become evident when they were losing. In my short time coaching junior varsity basketball my teams and I provided plenty of opportunities to test that theory – and itseemed true. People get real when you lose.
But losing might hold the greatest lesson that we can learn from Atticus Finch. We are living in a culture and an economy where there a lot of people losing – there is plenty of disappointment to go around. I think it might help to recall that the small town lawyer who took the Tom Robinson case had a pretty good idea it wasn’t going to go well for him, his client, even his own children – but he did it anyway. Discouragement is going to come and go — or as Atticus says “sometimes you win, but sometimes you don’t” — but we should always remember it is how we choose to handlediscouragement and failure thatis the truest measure of who we are…
One thought on “Facing discouragement and failure…”
I love this post. It is so true. I think that we, as Christians, don’t look at the hard times enough, and your reminder that our true colors come out during those hard times is even more important to remember. We like to talk about the victories. We like to revel in our victories, but the truth is that who we are is more about how we handle the defeats that come our way, as you said. Such good stuff. Enjoyed this!