Oh Hell! Shocked by those two words? How the heck does that simple comment relate to my opening thoughts about humbling yourself? Need an explanation? Oh Hell is a card game consisting of 14 progressive rounds that my family plays on a regular basis. Each round, one bids how many tricks they can take; if you get the exact amount of tricks you bid, you get 10 points plus the number of tricks (you bid). If you go under or over your bid, you get zero, notta, zip. (If you’re looking for a detailed explanation, check the hyperlink above.) A very simple game but a very complex game based on your strategy and everyone else’s. It is very competitive and a whole lot of fun. Oh did I mention, the number of bids from each player cannot add up to the number of cards played so each round, someone (at least one player) will get “set” (no points awarded). We played this on Christmas Day and I had a perfect game meaning I didn’t get set in any of the 14 rounds and scored 149 points in the 14 rounds. I took a picture of the score sheet and sent it to my brothers, sister, Mom and Aunt (we have a group text that we communicate with on a daily basis), telling them all it “was like shooting fish in a barrel”. Umm, shouldn’t have done that. This is where the humbling part comes in. We played again on Sunday – lost, and played multiple games yesterday. Was leading, with another perfect score yesterday going into the final round. The only way I could lose was to get set and my daughter bid at least 4 and win. I think you all know happened…Played another game after that and didn’t get points until well into the 4th/5th round. Played again after that and same result. I was the fish getting shot in the barrel. Any prayerful point to this rambling? We have optional readings today in honor of Sts. Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops and Doctors of the Church…
From Paul’s letter to the Ephesians:
And he gave some as Apostles, others as prophets,
others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers,
to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry,
for building up the Body of Christ,
until we all attain to the unity of faith
and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood,
to the extent of the full stature of Christ.
Funny, I don’t see the words braggart, blow-hard, a man “full of himself” listed among the traits listed for building the kingdom of Christ.
And from Matthew’s Gospel…
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
So lessons are learned and I’ll move on from this. I will stay play Oh Hell and will win a few (a little more humbly) but will also lose a few (a little more graciously) too. Because even in a simple card game like this, one can build and strengthen relationships but just as easily tear them down and be a source ill will.
Now for some prayer requests…
Please pray for my nephew Jacob and his wife Mary who gave birth to their second child this past weekend. Pray for their strength and their baby daughter’s well being as being as they all adjust to their new surroundings.
Please pray for my niece Sam and her husband Ryan, who found out that they will be having a little boy in April. Pray for a blessed pregnancy and hope all goes well these next few months for them.
As we start this new year, please pray for all those endeavoring on the newest resolutions for the year. Please pray for an increase in vocations; please pray for yourself that you build up your relationship with the Holy Trinity.
And finally, my wife Sarah and I will participate in an online prayer service for all people with whom cancer has affected their lives. The “featured image” is way for you to test in any prayer requests you might have. If you have facebook and would like to watch this live event (at 7 PM) online, the following is the web-address and message to share for this 30-day prayer for Cancer…
Do something great for our Lord today – humble yourself in all of your wins and losses. In all you do, help build God’s kingdom.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.