By Tom Ehrich
Q: How could Brazil lose to Germany by a lopsided score of 7-1?
A: I don't pretend to be a soccer analyst. I suspect loss of Neymar to injury was a factor, as was the yellow-carding of Silva, Brazil's captain. Also, when a team falls behind 2-0 in high-level soccer, as Brazil did early in the game, it can seem too much to overcome, so the losing team loses heart.
Beyond sports analysis, though, is the deeper point that, at this level of performance, any team can win big, any team can lose big. It's like life. You're cruising along -- job solid, marriage solid, kids on target, health good -- and then something stops clicking, or a surprise intrudes, and suddenly what had been rosy turns dark.
There's no predicting, and there certainly is no preventing. Things happen. Life happens. The question is how do you respond to sudden adversity.
You can lose heart and stop trying. In life, as opposed to the movies, hope can be fragile commodity. This is especially true when hope depends on data and outcomes. When hope is grounded in faith, it can be more durable.
With hope, you can change direction to get fresh perspective, fresh energy, maybe fresh legs in the game. Changing direction is rarely easy. Look at how paralyzed in dismay Brazil's coach seemed to be. It helps when one has companions in the struggle and a solid bench.
I watched enough youth soccer to know that, at some point in a lopsided contest, everyone just wants to go home. But in a life grounded in faith, God's promise of new life shines brighter than the score.
This one game might be lost, but other games lie ahead, and life offers more opportunities than a day-after postmortem of a big defeat.