PART ONE | PART TWO | PART THREE | PART FOUR | PART FIVE
In this last post in the series I want to share something I have learned on a more personal level.
I have never played cards. I mean, I played Uno as a kid a bit, but beyond that I never played card games. It wasn't something we did in our house. But it is something they do in many cigar shops. So there I was, watching the guys play cards, wanting to connect and make friends, but hating the idea of playing Canasta. Who plays Canasta?! But one of the long time regulars, now the man I'm closest to at the shop, offered to teach me. It turns out I really love card games!
Now I play Canasta, Hand and Foot, Cribbage, Durak, and other games with the fellas from the cigar shop. It's another shared experience that affords us all time to laugh, talk, and listen. But as my card sensei Tim taught me the rules to various games, he also impressed on me of a code to live by when playing cards. His code is simple, and it turns out it reflects how God calls us to live life as Christians.
Part Five: No Boasting, No Bemoaning in Cards or Life
"No boasting, no bemoaning." It is better to win quietly and loose gracefully than to talk unnecessary smack and complain when the cards don't go your way. This is the essence of how my friend Tim plays. When he wins you can see that he has been there before. And when he looses he isn't cursing the cards. I told him that his "No boasting, no bemoaning" code is reflective of the Christian life.
God calls us to live humble lives where we do not boast in ourselves or our accomplishments because all we have and all we are are that is good is from the hand of God. If there is any boasting for the Christian it is in God who saves us, and gives us good gifts to enjoy. (Jer. 9:23)
God also calls us to do all things without complaining. Whining, grumbling, and complaining generally arise out of a self-centered spirit of entitlement. We complain when we do not get what we feel we deserve. Neither boasting nor bemoaning have a place in cards, even less so in a Christian's life. I want my card playing to reflect more of this principle than it currently does. (Phil. 2:14)
There is a lot to learn from and share in the third places of our cities. Let's make the most of them. Let's be present and participate. Let's make friends, not just projects. Let's listen before speaking. And when we speak may we never hide our faith in our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.