Monday, September 3, 2012

Play 'n' Learn...

God, our uncreated Creator is very creative and amazing with where He places Life lessons. If you take time to think deeply there is at least one lesson to be learned from every game.

Solitaire is one card game I loved playing in the 1990s. Recently, my interest (& I'm being careful that it doesn't become an addiction) in the game was re-ingnited.

I play the game from time to time and recently some nuggets literally dropped in my lap so I decided to share some of the lessons learned from Solitaire.
To be sure I'd be comfortable sharing about the game, I looked into its origin. It was interesting to discover that the game was (or maybe still is) called "Patience" by the British while the American name was & still is "Solitaire."

So let's start with the lessons:
  1. Prefer one another - when playing the game, sometimes you can put a card away only to realize that it needs to have waited in the "pool" a little longer in order to "help" other cards get organized in the "home." It's not always easy to let go of what you want in order to help others achieve what they need to. Likewise, God expects us to prefer one another in love* - so we need to be sensitive to such times when we need to step out of our comfort zone in order to help them get to their own comfort zone.
  2. Don't be afraid to "undo"/"restart"/"resign" - there are times when despite your best efforts, you can't proceed and hence need to undo, restart or outrightly resign from the game. While we cannot "restart" and should never "resign from" (or give up on) life, we can always change what we are doing today - and that taught me 2 things: 
    • We should be quick to repent** when we realize that we are going down the wrong path and return to the right (Godly) path. Like Maria Robinson said: "Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending." This even dove-tails into the second sub-lesson:
    • Never conclude on a person's tomorrow based on their today. God even warns others not to deride others when they fall - because they shall rise again**
  3. Be a PAL i.e. a Play and Learn person: I remember a few years ago when our son started school when we asked him what he did/learned in school he very confidently said: "We played!" My husband and I wondered if it was worth the fees we were paying. Again when our second son started school, his teacher explained that their style of teaching was essentially "let's play and see what we'll learn." Oh no - not again. However, over the years we have come to appreciate the wisdom in that philosophy. Just thinking about children playing, you can easily identify children who can share, those who have leadership and even strong social or even interpersonal skills. Likewise, I advise that we consciously engage our brains to learn if and when we play. Be a PAL to yourself - play often and learn more...and please share lessons you learn. 
References:
*Eph 5:21 - Be willing to help and care for each other because of Christ. By doing this, you honor Christ. (NLV)
Rom 12:10 - In love of the brethren be tenderly affectioned one to another; in honor preferring one another (ASV)
**Acts 3: 19 - "Now it's time to change your ways! Turn to face God so he can wipe away your sins, pour out showers of blessing to refresh you, and send you the Messiah he prepared for you, namely, Jesus.
***Mic 7:8 - Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light. (NIV)
Prov 24:16a - For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again. (NIV)

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