Sparky Anderson was the first manager in baseball to win the World Series in both the National and American League. He did it with Cincinnati in 75 and 76, then with Detroit in 84. (The only other to do it was Tony LaRussa.)

Anderson enjoyed a lot of success, but in 1989, the Tigers were absolutely terrible. In a single season they lost more than 100 games. Sparky said it had never occurred to him that he would someday coach a losing team, and the stress of losing was almost too much for him.

Later he wrote: “If you think you’re destined never to fail, you better keep one eye open when you fall asleep at night. For my first 19 years as a manager I was blessed by so much good fortune I thought maybe the devil had forgotten where I lived. In 1989, I found out that Sparky Anderson has to pay his dues, too.”

We all have to pay our dues. That’s why the Apostle Peter wrote…

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. (1 Peter 4:12)

Failure is a fact of life. There will be losses. Even losing seasons.

They’re part of the cycle, but not the end of the journey.