They were a crazy (in a good way), fully engrossed, joyfully animated bunch, and just watching them was a lot of fun. But at one point, my mind began to wander and I saw life lessons in the things that they did as a part of playing the game. So I’m going to share five of them with you now...
Lesson #1: Carefully examine your cards: Before saying anything to anyone, these players looked carefully at their cards. They considered what they could do with them, what others might do in reaction to them, and then decided how they would react... aka how they would bid.
We should do that, too. Before we make decisions, before we jump to conclusions, before we say a word, we ought to sit back, consider the lay of the land, and then thoughtfully determine the best way to react.
Lesson #2: If you don’t like what you’re dealt, throw in your hand: When their hands didn’t have enough of the right cards, the rulebook allowed these spades players to throw in their cards and start a new game.
What's that mean for us? Well, as I see it, if it looks like we just can’t win in a situation we may be in, we need to feel free to surrender, to simply and completely give up. Yes, give up. I know we (especially us church girls) often see giving up as a failure, but sometimes we have to let go of what we’re holding so that our hands are able to accept something better. God can’t bless us with something new, while we’re holding onto the old stuff that’s doing us no good. Such was the case with me and my ex-husband but, excuse me, I digress…
Lesson #3: Have a partner you trust. In the game of spades, it’s vitally important that you’re playing with a partner who not only plays well, but one who knows enough about how you play in order to help the two of you win.
Life is so much better when you know that you have someone in your corner who knows you, understands you, and loves you enough to have your back. This person can be a spouse, it can be a parent, a sibling, a prayer partner, or a best friend. The point is to find someone you trust.
Also, we have to remember to find someone who is playing the game of life well. No need having a buddy in your corner who is a wreck. I'm not suggesting that we find the "perfect" person, that would be like asking us to find a unicorn. But we have to be particular about who we partner with.
Lesson #4: They shuffled the deck between hands. When any one game ended, the cards were shuffled before the next game started.
They didn’t continue playing with cards that were in the same order they were in during the previous game. Instead, they shuffled the deck and created something new.
Sometimes when one situation, job, life experience, relationship ends, we go into a new one carrying exact same stuff with us from our past. But maybe we could benefit from shuffling things up a bit! Maybe we go with some external change, like a new hair style, weight loss, or a new cologne or piece of jewelry. Or maybe our shuffling is internally done with a new attitude, a new skill, or a new outlook. The point is to not be afraid of changing things up a bit.
Lesson #5: Play with a purpose: These card players came to the table with a gameplan, a purpose in mind. They came to win.
Isn’t that cool?
And if they can do that with a card game, just think of how important it is for us do that with our lives. We should begin each day with a purpose to win. Sure, they’ll be disappointments along the way, but we have to aim to win and believe that we will.
What do you think? Do you have anything to my list?