As kids growing up in New York, my pals and I would often choose up teams for stick ball games in the streets and the schoolyard.
But it never seemed to matter where we’d play or how star-stacked my teams would be, my guys and I would always seem to wind up losing.
That would always seem the story of my life.
If I’d back, say, a professional or amateur athlete or team, my favorites would invariably end up on the short end of a score.
If I’d join in on a seemingly popular cause, the cause would invariably sour and lose backing.
I began to develop a kind of complex.
“I am the original sad sack,” I’d tell myself. “I can’t win for losing. God must want me to be nothing but a loser.”
That is, of course, the way I thought about what seemed to be the trend  of my life before I came to Jesus.
And I have to admit that the view stayed the same for a good while after my conversion.
Fresh out of the world, when Satan would create havoc in my life clearly because of my allegiance to God, I’d think with dripping sarcasm:
“Oh boy, I didn’t have enough bad breaks swirling in my life. Now I’ve gone and signed on with a cause that makes it a point to find good in losing.
“Christianity: Here, smack me on my one cheek and I’ll turn to you the other, so you can give me another swat – and I’ll just keep loving you forever.”
Yes, even as a babe in Christ, I wasn’t immediately ready to view myself and our cause as anything but budding failures.
But one of the primary reasons I bring all of this up at this time in this space is to celebrate what, despite my earlier self, I continue to find in Christ:
When I count my blessings in Jesus, I never come up a loser.
All those things that I once thought would contribute to my happiness and my sense of me are really based on mere temporal happenstances that eventually fade away.
In Jesus, however, lies my salvation, which is the everlasting source of my eternal peace and happiness.
Who can lose when they have all that?
I never forget when all of that finally struck strongly home to me in my earlier Christian days.
It was during my working days at the local newspaper.
We writers and other workers were at odds with the company about whether to keep our workers’ union.
Just on principle, I was pro union simply because I saw sincere unions as strong ways to protect the rights of workers.
At first, I assumed that most people, especially among workers, would also be on the union’s side.
Was I wrong.
It turned out that most folks in the newspaper’s work force were not only anti union, they were also against anything that could protect the rights of people whose skin color was dark like mine.
Expectedly, I eventually found myself all on my own, backed up against a hard spot with no one to whom I could turn for help – except Jesus.
I prayed.
And I let my faith and the Holy Spirit buoy me.
And it all carried me through to today when I see all of that stuff as  distant memories and I see all of us in Christ as winners.
“I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand. I shall not be moved.
“Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope” (Ps.16:8-9).