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The Biggest Loser

“This dandelion has long ago surrendered its golden petals, and has reached its crowning stage of dying--the delicate seed-globe must break up now--it gives and gives till it has nothing left.”

~L. Trotter

Thanksgiving day is just around the corner. Turkey covered in gravy, mashed sweet potatoes next to a mound of stuffing followed by pumpkin pie: the thought makes me salivate. 4,500 calories of family traditions packed into one delicious meal! Most of us can’t wait to eat until we pop. But for those trying to lose weight like the contestants on the TV show The Biggest Loser, this day can be the beginning of their undoing. After gaining momentum in learning how to eat healthy and get in shape, this one meal can succeed in tempting even the strongest of wills. How does one fight against a lifetime of yearly rituals? I really feel for them because losing has become their one main objective. And for many of them, it’s crucial for their very existence. The chance to become the biggest loser has given them a reason to live.

So it is for the dandelion. This common and beneficial flower has the same goal: to be the biggest loser. After the jagged leaves emerge it sends up long stems with buds. Each bud blooms into a fluffy display of multiple thin petals that resemble the rays of the sun. The golden-yellow rosette opens each morning and closes at night until that cycle of life is finished. Once fertilized, the bud closes up as the petals die in completion of their mission. When the bud opens again it will be for the last time. It has reached it's crowning stage of dying. It will now give and give and give until there is nothing left of the delicate globe of seedlings. The dandelion offers itself up in willing sacrifice in order that life may be given and live on in others.

Paul wrote to the Philippians about all that he willingly let go of for Christ and His kingdom, “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.” Paul released everything (his impressive achievements, his important status, and every confidence he had in himself, not to mention his comfort, his health and his freedoms). He considered it all garbage in comparison to the wealth of knowing Christ. He wanted to know the power of His resurrection by participating in Christ's sufferings and all that He relinquished to save us. Like the dandelion, Paul embraced death and loss for the glory of spiritual riches.

Wasn't this the attitude and mindset of our Savior—who being in very nature God didn't consider His equal status with the Father something to cling on to or use to His own advantage—but let it all go? Instead of demanding His rights as God, He poured Himself out and became nothing. He who was rich beyond measure volunteered to became poor, helpless, destitute, that I might abound in true riches. I think Jesus Christ deserves the title for all time as THE biggest loser. His prize? “Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name” Phil 2:9.

“Lord, thank you for all the ways you speak and beckon me to follow you. Make me like the dandelion who stands ready, holding up its little life waiting for you to blow on it and send it’s seeds to flight. This deeper dying scares me, but I want to hold myself no longer for my own keeping, but as something to be given. Turn my readiness of will into action. Blow your breath of life on me and send my seeds to flight. Make me like Jesus that I might measure success not by what I gain by clinging to whatever rights I think are mine, but in terms of loss for the sake of Love. Make me the biggest loser.”

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