Have you ever spent time with a friend, relative or a co- worker in an ordinary conversation only to have it turn into a poker game?
You know, the conversation that begins innocently enough about driving your kids to soccer and suddenly spins into a poker game of calls and bluffs. “I’ll see your carpool and raise you an unemployed husband and a broken down car.”
We play this game of poker with calls and raises as to who is busier, more important and who can hide the pain, regret and disappointment the best.
There is no winner in this game – the house wins every time.
Unfortunately many of us play this game with regularity. We hedge our bets against the house and hope that this time we will come out on top.
We tell ourselves that this time we will walk away having cleaned up in the conversation with the know it all friend, the status conscious relative or über competitive co- worker.
What we fail to recognize is that everyone has “tell”. If you play against someone long enough you figure it out.
Our ability to maintain a good “poker face” is ultimately what hinders us in relationship with God and others.
We go about our lives holding our cards close to the vest.
We withhold. We self protect. We hide.
We counter with aggressive calls and raises in hopes that we can convince those around us that we’ve got it going on.
The longer the game continues the higher the stress and the stakes.
Over time, with hidden hurts, secret shame and unfulfilled dreams the stakes get much higher.
The more guarded we are with our hearts and our hurts, the harder it is to show our proverbial cards to one another.
We are so heavily invested in protecting our hand, that we will risk loneliness and isolation to keep others from seeing our heart.
We play this game with people and I would say that many of us play this game with God.
In an effort to be in control of something, we attempt to hide our hearts from the one who created us.
Lucky for us, God is the ultimate dealer. He sees all, knows all and holds all the cards.
Unlike a game of poker, God is more interested in the individual than with the game. God has already gone all in for us.He gave His son Jesus for you and for me.
He knowingly sacrificed His son, so that we could have freedom from the sin that keeps us separated from God and others.
In the words of Kenny Rogers, “You gotta know when to hold’em and know when to fold’em”. The Gambler.
Are you willing to tip your cards long enough to let your heart be known?
Grace & Peace ~ Karen