Playing The Hand You’re Dealt

I am not a card player. This may be a result of being an only child. Instead of playing card games, I just read books or dove into my imagination. Truth be told I can’t even really shuffle a deck of cards adequately. Yet I still know of the wisdom of ‘playing the hand you’re dealt.’ In life, we might all wish for different cards to have been dealt our way. I still don’t know why God did not see fit to give me the skills of an NBA all-star, the musical abilities of a Grammy winning showstopper, and the tech business prowess of Steve Jobs, and the political acumen of Abraham Lincoln. No matter who we are or what we have it is easy to get caught up in focusing on what’s missing. However, in longing for what is absent, we often miss out on the many blessings of our life.

When I first became a Christian, I had this image of becoming a Super Christian. Super Christian drew the masses like Billy Graham, risked everything for others like Harriet Tubman, defended the faith like C.S. Lewis, served selflessly like Mother Teresa, fought for social justice like Martin Luther King Jr., and lived out the Sermon on the Mount radically like Shane Claiborne. Super Christian was really just an idealized protestant saintly superstar. Thomas Merton said, “For me to be a saint means to be myself. Therefore the problem of sanctity and salvation is in fact the problem of finding out who I am and discovering my true self.” Merton was learning what it meant to allow God to shed us of all our false images and idols. Merton was embracing and playing the hand he was dealt.

I currently have two gift cards in my possession which are unusable. I still have both gift cards, they aren’t misplaced or forgotten about, but in both instances I was saving the gift card for something special…. And then the company went out of business. Roughly 1 billion dollars in gift cards went unused in 2015. We are sitting on a lot of unused potential. Maybe we are saving the cards for something special. Maybe we have forgotten them. Maybe we don’t usually frequent the store for the gift card. Whatever the reason our gifts are going unused.

What gifts of talent, time, treasure, or experience do you possess? How does God want you to redeem and utilize the ‘one wild’ life you’ve been given? How does our idolization of the Super Christian or the Super Church get in the way of us becoming who we actually are created and called to be?