There’s an old saying about playing with the hand you’re dealt. There is a lot of wisdom in that because, to borrow from another colloquialism “the grass on the other side of the fence,” much like the cards in an opposing player’s hand, does sometimes seem to be more advantageous.
However, it is not just about the cards in one’s hand, but also about how those cards are played that ultimately dictates the flow of the game. At first glance it is easy to made a broad assessment of the cards we hold, but as it is in cards, so too is in the game of life. It is so much more about how the cards are played than the cards themselves.
I recently heard someone ask this question: Do you feel as though life is happening to your or for you? That is something worth considering.
To say life happens to us is to surrender the control of our emotions, our decision-making, and ultimately our very destiny over to someone or something else. It is to live life as a victim, where melancholy reigns, hope wanes, and circumstances drain (sorry I couldn’t resist the opportunity to rhyme.)
Conversely when we see life as happening for us, our outlook totally shifts.
There is so much about life we cannot control, from the weather, to the decisions of others, but what we can control is our response. To see life as being for us helps us to respond rather than react, to seek clarity instead of choosing offense, and to function with an attitude of gratitude not resentment.
Q: So how do we get there? How do we most effectively play the cards we’ve been dealt?
A: By taking our eyes off of us.
When we consider not just our cards but the cards held by the others we realize each hand offers it’s own set of advantages and disadvantages. Life is truly a gift, and it is a gift given – not just for us to enjoy – but for us to use to bring joy to others.
The Apostle Paul reminds us that life is for us because the Giver of Life is for us.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? Romans 8:31 NASB
Life happens, but how we see it happening ultimately depends on our perspective.