|Deciding to make the most with 'hand' God gives you|
|Written by BILL RYAN Sentinel Religion Editor|
|Friday, 28 September 2012 10:01|
The card game of duplicate bridge can be considered a metaphor for life. Unlike other card games or other forms of bridge, in the duplicate game, different players at different tables play the same exact hands. Winners are determined by who does the best with the identical deal.
Happiness in life is much the same. Sometimes you are dealt great hands, other times your cards in life leave much room for improvement. Human nature often has us focusing on those bad hands. That's not God's desire for us.
For people of faith, that winning would be salvation in God's kingdom. Salvation is available to people in all walks of life.
What is truly important is not the hand you were dealt, but how you used that hand. What have you done with your life? Have you made the most of the assets God gave you? Have you maximized the little gifts which may not seem important? Those small items are extremely valuable when used for the greater good.
In many card games, the smallest card in the deck, if named as a trump, can top all the high cards in the other suits. Similarly, the smallest gesture, a meek, "I'm sorry," or an unexpected assist in a small matter, can mean so much more than a grandiose show of power.
The popular holiday movie, "It's a Wonderful Life," highlights the story of George Bailey. The main character learns during the course of the movie that his life did matter. There is a ripple effect throughout the world for every action, every bit of energy we exert, positive or negative.
Happiness in life is truly a choice. That is not to say that each of us can choose to be happy at all times. Rather, it is to consider the better course of action at all times. By choosing a more God-like approach in all our decisions, we will illuminate our lives with the energy of God.
That is obviously easier said than done, and in our humanity, each of us surely stumbles more than we would desire. We often feel like a cloud of darkness surrounds us.
A proverbial expression, "it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness," is truly an ideal goal for life. We can all learn to walk enthusiastically in God's light and illuminate the path for others.
The Bible adds, "The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light." (Romans 13:12)
Ask most missionaries in foreign lands and they will share the joy and enthusiasm for life which is embraced by people in impoverished lands. By our standards they have very little of what most Americans consider important. Yet their smiles reveal a great love and zest for the life God has provided them. They show much more happiness than many people with excess means.
Many impoverished people truly understand what is important by embracing the energy of life, the power of God's glory. They have an enthusiasm for life. They live in God ¬≠- which could explain the Bible verse, "Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." (Matthew 19:24)
The gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke all share Jesus' parable of the mustard seed. That parable tells how a tiny mustard seed becomes a mighty tree. There is power in the little things of life. (Matthew 13:31-32; Mark 4:30-32; and as follows from Luke 13:18-19) "What is the Kingdom of God like? To what shall I compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and put in his own garden. It grew, and became a large tree, and the birds of the sky lodged in its branches."
How much of God's energy is within you? Are you fully connected to the power?
Our life, given by God, is filled with great hands and bad ones and everything in between. Play them well. We need to focus on making the most of every hand God deals us daily.
We have to make the most of the aces and powerful cards in our life's deck, yet recognize the value and importance of all the cards.
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