you entered the reading program for the Bethalto Public Library. Every time you read 100 pages, your name was entered in to a raffle. After I explained the concept of a raffle to you, you realized that the more times your name was entered, the more likely you were to win. At the end of the 6 week program, you read 2500 pages, meaning your name was entered 25 times in the drawing.
Earlier in the week you kept asking about when the drawing was. You had it marked on a calendar, and you had it on a post it note by your bed..”July 20th is the prize drawing.” You were eagerly anticipating the raffle drawing, because you were so confident that your name would be called and you would be crowned the “winner”.
So, last night you, your brother and I went to the celebration held in the park. We received free cotton candy, free hotdogs and juice boxes, and a free t-shirt. You noticed an schedule posted, and informed our family that the prizes were going to be announced a 7:30.
Daddy joined us at the park for the event after he got home from work, and we all waited in anticipation. I could see the hope and excitement in your eyes. I wanted to remind you that you may not win, but I didn’t want to be a dream crusher.
The time arrived. You covered your mouth with your hands, and closed your eyes. The MC drew a name and read it in the microphone.
It was not yours.
To say you were disappointed is an understatement. You were distraught. Your hope was destroyed, and your incentive to continue reading dissolved immediately. I held you in my arms to comfort you, as you continually repeated, “But I read 2500 pages. No one read more than me. I should have won.” You weren’t mad or angry…you were sincerely sad.
I wanted to cry with you. I wanted to stand up and yell about the injustice of the entire raffle concept. Instead, I comforted you with a kiss, and Daddy and I told you how proud we were of you for setting a goal and working to reach it.
I wish I could protect you from ever experiencing disappointment again. It’s not fun. It’s not fair. But it is a part of life..a painful part…but a part nonetheless.
This morning I re-visited the issue again with you. I explained how disappointment sometimes makes people bitter, and it can often cause people to quit attempting to set and reach goals. Disappointment can also become a spiritual battle, if it lingers. Disappointment can cause us to not trust God, or to not continue to place our hope in Him. Disappointment can cause to question God’s goodness, or even His reality.
In the future when you are disappointed, my prayer is that it doesn’t deter you from continuing on the path that you are on. When life disappoints you, press on. When life disappoints you, remember that God is good, and that your hope is in Him.
Yes, life is unfair. Yes, life can be painful. Yes, life can be disappointing. But keep your eyes on Jesus and keep your hope in His power, goodness, and love.
BTW: I took you to Wal-mart and allowed you to choose 2 new Skylanders for the Wii. I felt like you should be rewarded for reaching your goal…even if it wasn’t recognized by the raffle, our family celebrated your accomplishment.