When I was in college, my little sister came to visit me. While she was visiting, we played Indian poker. This is a card game where players sit Indian style in a circle, or in this case, facing each other. Each player is dealt a card that is placed, using a little bit of spit, on your forehead facing your opponent. You don’t see your card, but your opponent does. Then the bet is on to see who has the highest the card.
It’s a hilarious game because first of all, you look ridiculous with a card stuck to your forehead. Second of all, you know what you are playing against. You could be looking at the guy who has the high ace, and yet you have a chance to use facial expression to bluff them out of the game. But … you have no clue where you really stand. The more players, the more fun!
Personally, I’m not really that competitive. I am okay with not always being first, the best, or the champion of anything. However, I love bluffing games … especially this one. Not just because I get to participate in bluffing through the game, but watching others when you know full well what their hand is … well, it’s hilarious! People get very animated in these type of games.
Another game that was popular in our family was more of a Christmas Gift Exchange called White Elephant. Everyone brings a wrapped present and the gift can be anything from something new to a price limit of say $5 to something that was just lying around the house. Everyone gets numbers and chooses a present based off their number sequence. The first player opens his gift. All subsequent players however, get to choose between taking any previous player’s gift, or choosing one of the unwrapped gifts. If your gift is taken, you then get that same choice. The only rule is that you can’t take back, in the same round, a gift that was taken from you.
As the exchange continues, there’s much activity and by the time you get to the last gift, it sounds like a stock exchange floor where each player is vying for their gift to be taken. It was about 12 years ago the last time we all got together and played this game. I remember we had some pretty interesting picks, but the best was my mom’s homemade cheesecake and brownies!
What I love best about these games is that it isn’t about who’s going to win. As a matter of fact, in both scenarios, we get a chance to see where everyone else stands. However, the beauty of both these games is not the win or who ended up with the best gift. The beauty lies in the activity. The fun of participating. The excitement of not just duping your neighbor, but also in being duped as you open the gift that your brother so vehemently convinced you to take only to find out it was an empty pack of pop cans!
Sometimes I think we take our spiritual life so seriously that we get ourselves all bogged down with garbage. Don’t get me wrong, I think we should take it seriously. And as an admitted melancholy by nature, I certainly do! However, there are those moments where God reminds me that His kingdom is made up of a bunch of kids. I think that part of finding joy in the Lord is not just getting filled with His spirit but truly learning how to have fun and live life in the Spirit. The more He opens my understanding to this, the more I realize that doing His work isn’t really work at all.
Oh that sneak! Looks like He went and did it again! He just duped me! <big cheesy grin> Have I mentioned how much I love this game?