Posts Tagged ‘Games’

Cat’s Game


Cat’s Game

An original poem by Jennifer Clark Tinker

Scratch that game

It’s a cat’s game

No one gets fame

We’re all the same

It’s a cat’s game

It’s not that we’re lame

We played a good game

But the cat got it all the same

Who invited that cat?

Can we send it back?

It’s too hard to tame

The cat that got our game

No winner is proclaimed

And the cat is to blame

Here we are stuck with another cat’s game

Life in the Spirit is Not a Game

“It can’t mean anything: going back to the selling game? It doesn’t mean anything. It can’t be the reason you’re here,” Mike says.

Ruby scoffs, “It’s a game whose rules I understand. And for a while at least, that’s just gonna have to be enough…It’s better than having no game at all.”

–Ruby in Paradise (R), 1993, Victor Nunez

A Game Whose Rules I Understand

I like to play games, lots of games. And I’m a bit of a strategist. I kind-of hate this about myself even while secretly plotting how I’m going to beat your pants off. I like to learn a game and study its rules so I can exploit weaknesses in the way the game is set up. By finding this advantage I can prevail against my opponent. Often times it gets chalked up to luck–everyone else thinks they played their best too, so I must’ve gotten lucky. But I know I found a way to gain the upper hand.

A game whose rules I understand is a game I can use to my own advantage.

In the same way, I think sometimes I have played at the 10 Commandments like they’re a game whose rules I understand. And if I can understand those rules, I can exploit even those.

The game I’ve played with God’s Law is the one where the rules are all very clear. So clear, in fact that I could do whatever I pleased and justify it on a technicality. Meanwhile I watched other players like a hawk, making sure they stayed in bounds.

No Game at All

The truth is, the commandments are just a glimpse, as in a mirror dimly, of what God wants for His people. I believe the commandments are worthwhile to teach and study. And I believe that the “spirit” of the commandments is so that all may go well with us (Deuteronomy 6:3).

But the commandments are not God. And following (or exploiting) them is not a game that we can ever, ever win. In fact, living out our faith is not a game at all.

Life in the Spirit is much better than a game.

Better than a Game

My husband has a way of playing games like there is actually something more important than the game itself. It drives me crazy really. He’ll get off on a tangent of conversation with other players just as I’m about to make a brilliant play!

He said once, “I don’t play games to beat people, I play games to be with people.”

And that’s just the thing–we don’t just play at life like its a cosmic game of winners and losers. Life in God’s created world is so much more than that.

In this life, we get to be in fellowship with the God who created us! We get to be in solidarity with all our neighbors on this planet! If commandments help us love and honor God and neighbor, then that is the most important thing. But when we become more worried about beating others or beating the game, then it’s time for a ‘Game Over.’

God With Us

It’s easy to say and harder to do to live like people matter more than rules. I mean, I still get caught up in trivialities of board game strategies! So to think of people in day-to-day life as being more important than whatever other ‘game’ I’ve got going is also a challenge.

And since rules only tell us so much, God did something radical. God came to us, to be one of us, to be with us in Jesus. God in Christ showed us what it really means to “be with” rather than “beat.”

And Jesus, he’s a God whose love I can understand. And it his Spirit in me that empowers me to live in love with my neighbors. And love rules!

What if I Get it Wrong?

I hate trivia games. Yes, “hate” is a strong word and should be reserved for really serious things.

This is serious. Trivia is very serious. Furthermore, I am bad, seriously bad at trivia. Believe me when I say “hate” is not a strong enough word for how I feel about trivia.

I grew up always one giant leap behind a brother who is two years older than I am.

I love games and I always tried to get him to play with me. Sometimes he did willingly, but other times I had to beg, “Please just one game and I’ll let you pick the game, big brother.” Those were usually the times I got stuck playing a trivia game.

You see, my brother loves trivia and has always been really good at it. When we were kids he won every time and I always left the table feeling so stupid.

We even tried to find ways to make it more fair, like giving him harder questions. He still won, and I felt even more stupid.

It got to the point for me that I wouldn’t even give answers to questions I knew because I felt so humiliated. There were times when I was pretty sure I was right, but I clammed up because I didn’t want to get it wrong.

20130324-154229.jpgA glimmer of hope came for me in a game called Cranium. It has traditional trivia questions as well as singing, acting, drawing, sculpting, and word puzzles. I’m most likely to shine in the singing, acting, and word puzzles. The variety of categories means I can hold my own against trivia buffs.

Playing that game helped me see that even if I am not trivia smart, I am smart!

Do you know what else? The big brother that ran circles around me in trivia games admires my smarts and strengths.

It has been a slow process for me to go from recognizing my intelligence to having the guts to share what I know. That little part of me that was afraid to get it wrong, still tries to hold me back.

That’s part of why this blog is so important to me. I’m not letting that fear of getting it wrong hold me back from this.

The more important question for me has become, what if I am right?

I’m not saying I am an authority on everything I write. Truly, sometimes I may have more questions than answers. Still, what if me just putting it out there can help other people find answers?

What if my sharing can mean something to someone else? What if what I write touches someone’s life?

What if holding all my thoughts in is the wrongest thing ever? Then, I really don’t want to be wrong!

Do you have a love or hate relationship with trivia? What kind of smarts do you have?

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