Friday, October 27, 2017

Magic Moves!


John 16:33
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world."

My husband, Danny, and I love to play backgammon.  Traditionally, we would only play, though, when we were on vacation at a cabin.  And it isn't an easy game to learn or master, to which I can fully attest.  Thank goodness, over these many years, Danny has had the patience of Job as he attempts to teach me so I can improve my game.

Now that Danny's retired, we are playing much more frequently.  All this practice is beginning to perfect my strategic skills, but it's the odd night, indeed, when I win more games than he does.  The "magic" rolls, at least at a game's inception, are now burned indelibly in my brain.  This allows me to think quicker and move my pieces with greater confidence.

But what happens when those rolls simply refuse to materialize?  Frustration, that's what!

"Dang!"  I exclaim, after experiencing a trying game filled with uncooperative dice rolls, and getting soundly crushed by The Backgammon King.  "Where are those magic moves when I need them?  How am I ever going to get better at this game?"

Danny pats my hand reassuringly.  "You are getting better, Martha, even if it doesn't seem like it right now.  I can have all the strategy in the world, but if the dice don't roll in my favor, I can kiss it good-bye."

And that makes me think, in a Forest Gump kind of way:  "Life is like a backgammon game; you never know what you're going to get."

Oh, yes!  We can be sailing through our days without a care, saying and doing all the right things, making "magic" moves, when the world casts an unexpected, unwanted roll of the dice onto our Pollyanna path.  And if we're not mindful, the setbacks, problems and fears will confound us, disillusion us, and in the most profound circumstances, threaten to defeat us.

But with Jesus as our Master Strategist, we can surmount any obstacle the world hurls at us, knowing that our troubles are only temporary.  We can take heart!  Have hope!

We can endure with joy because of God's saving grace.

Knowing He will ever help us make the right moves.  Those magic moves.

And with His help, we will win the game.

Amen!

20 comments:

  1. My husband loves backgammon. I have no clue how to play. He's so good at board games, I don't even want to learn. It's sad to say, if I don't think I have a chance at winning, I don't even want to learn. Not a good attitude.
    There is so much to learn in life and many times no matter how "good" you are at something, it can be like what you said, "Life is like a (box of chocolate) backgammon game; you never know what you're going to get." BUT with Jesus as our Master Strategist, means we should learn new things, take a risk and stay in the game.
    Thanks for another great post, Martha.
    P.S. Maybe I'll let Scott teach me to play backgammon :)

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    1. Beckie, I really think you'd like backgammon once you get into it. I didn't think I'd like it either when Danny first suggested I learn so we could play together, but now, I'm hooked!
      And yes, knowing Jesus is in charge, and has our best interest at heart, makes a world of difference in how we can face challenges in life. Because, as He said, we will certainly have trouble in this world.
      Love and blessings!

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  2. Oh, what a great analogy! I love this...God certainly spoke to you through this game. I do not know how to play Backgammon. I don't believe we've ever had a game...I may need to check into that...might be a good Christmas gift! Now, to learn those "magic moves"...but also to let God lead the way through all the difficult moves of life. Thank you again. This was good!!

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    1. Backgammon is a great game, not easy to learn, but well worth it when you do, Pamela. Let me know if you all decide to get one.
      Yes, indeed, God has all those magic moves even if we can't see them in the midst of troubles. Thanking Him for all He has done and continues to do in my life.
      Love and blessings!

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  3. Martha, I love how you've connected the game of backgammon to life. It's easy to get discouraged in this life when all seems to be going terribly wrong, yet we find Jesus is there all the time.

    Love and blessings!

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    1. Yes, and thank goodness He is, Kim! Glad you liked the analogy, as I really thought it worked well.
      Love and blessings!

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  4. great illustration and reminder! I bet you guys are a hoot to watch play this together.

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    1. So glad you liked the post, Jean! Yes, we are pretty funny when we play, as we are both quite competitive, although Danny beats me by a mile in that department. Lol!
      Love and blessings!

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  5. I love playing backgammon. I taught Jo but she doesn't really like to play board games...or any games for that matter. But you are right; all the skills down't or can't beat good dice rolls. So glad my life and my future are not determined by the roll of God's dice.

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    1. Yes, Bill, with God, it's not a matter of dice rolls, only an outcome of His planning. It may seem that we fall short at times when troubles come our way, but we know we are on the winning end with God. What a relief, especially since I just lost three to Danny tonight. Lol!
      Love and blessings!

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  6. I grew up in a family that loved board and card games! They are great tools to help us understand life isn't always fair. The trick, I think, is to love the game, to love life, to love those who are your "opponents" even when you lose.

    Great fun!

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    1. Ed, I think that is exactly the truth. We are not opponents, only fellow travelers along this journey, destined to interact and promote God's kingdom. I'm enjoying teaching my eldest granddaughter, Virginia, the importance of losing gracefully; it's not about winning in this world, but about being prepared for the battles that God has already won.
      Love and blessings!

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  7. I am not much of a board game player, but I love the way you used the game in this piece to demonstrate God’s game plan for us. Very nice.

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    1. I hear you, Nells! This is the one and only board game my husband enjoys. But, oh, how the lessons in life jump to the forefront! God certainly has a game plan. May we follow His lessons and rules for our lives.
      Love and blessings!

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  8. Hi Martha! I used to play backgammon on-line. It's fun, but I know I'm just a beginner. I'd probably frustrate Danny to no end!
    It's so true that life can veer off the rails at any time, and that's when we are tested. Sometimes hardships seem so random, don't they? But God holds me in all circumstances, and I hope that I'll see that in the magic moves, and in the hard stuff too.
    Keep hanging in there!
    Ceil

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    1. Ceil, we just played some rounds tonight, and I lost all three. Oh, well! That's exactly how life hits us. We must, in all cases, remember that God has our back and continues to go out on a limb to save us through His grace.
      Yep, Danny is an expert, and I'm blessed to be right there to learn.
      Love and blessings!

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  9. Amen! Great analogy! How we hate those unexpected unwanted rolls of the dice! But you're right, with God's help we can and will keep moving forward until the end where there is victory in Jesus! Blessings and hugs!!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the analogy, Deb! Thank goodness we have the final win with Jesus, no matter what dice we roll.
      Love and blessings!

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  10. Wow, life lessons are everywhere, aren't they? My husband and I used to play backgammon. Maybe it's time to start again! :)

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    1. Oh, you should start it up again, Karen. So challenging, but so much fun!
      And yes, life's lessons can be found everywhere we look.
      Love and blessings!

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