Tuesday, May 18, 2010

And the Winner Is...........

"Holy Cow!," I blurted out. In amazement, I stared at the hand dealt me, which included three two's. Two's are wild in Ulcer Rummy. The first hand, I didn't even have a chance to lay down. The second hand I did, but never went out. This time, I might just have a chance of winning the hand with the new cards I had been dealt.

After a few cycles around the table, I was finally able to lay some cards down. Two sets of three and a run of four. I carefully kept an eye on my friendly competitors. It wasn't long before they had laid down their sets and runs, as well. However, much to my surprise, I did not win this hand. Instead, Tom, the only male at this Saturday's card night, had.

Two rounds later, I had still not won a single hand. However, I was able to lay most of my cards down. I just never went out. Want to know who won the game? After five hands and never winning a single round, yours truly had the lowest number of points, seventy-five.

Tom asked, "How is that possible?"

Following him, Kathleen commented, "So you don't need to go out to win. You just have to be able to lay most of your cards down to get the lowest score."

It reminded me of another game night when many of us did not even get a chance to lay down. During the first two hands, Andy, the second person in the cycle, immediately went out. She won both of those rounds. She didn't win the game though. How the tables turned as the night progressed. As the hours passed, I had been able to lay some cards down, but never go out. By the end of the night though, I had the lowest score again.

Upon waking the next morning, I reflected on my past evening's winnings and thought, "God, that was so wild! I hadn't even gone out and I was still able to win. How did that happen?"

So many times in life, one can feel as if, "What's the use?; Life's not fair!; or Will I ever get that chance? When?" We never know what life will deal us. Sometimes the cards are great, other times not so great, and then there are the times you just want to throw the whole deck out and start again.

We all hope for those big breaks. We hope. We pray. We dream. If we could only have a few of those wild cards passed to us, the golden opportunity, the break through, etc. etc. However, life appears to promise us nothing more than death and taxes. We're told these are the only two things we can be sure of, or are they?

During my morning meditation, I was greatly encouraged. I believe God was saying to me, "Show up. Play the game. Do the best you can with the cards you are dealt and leave the results to me. It's not over, til its over!"

The closest scripture I can think of to support this is in Galatians 6:9 "Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."

If we stand fast, do our best, and have faith, we'll be amazed at how God multiplies our efforts.

Then we will be able to say as the apostle Paul did in 1 Timothy 4:7-8, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge will award to me on that day-and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing."

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