Faith Like Solitaire

I’ve been playing a lot of the card game Solitaire on my phone lately.  It’s not the hardest, most mentally stimulating game available on a smartphone, but I do a lot of waiting these days.  I find this game above all others is the most relaxing for the fact that it doesn’t require a lot of thought.

I’ve also discovered this game is a lot like following God’s will.  More specifically, my ability to win at Solitaire is a lot like my desire to I obey The Lord.  In every game, I reach a point where I don’t know what to do next.  However, the card I need to stay alive is usually staring me in the face – I just haven’t noticed it yet.  When I focus on what is in front of me, the next step becomes obvious.

In faith, we like to make a search out of finding God’s will.  Like a treasure hunt, we scour Scripture looking for the perfect verse to fit the circumstances.  We want a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow – but we like to have to work for it.  There are times when intense prayer and fasting are required.  But in our everyday walking-around lives, we don’t have to look long and hard for what He wants us to do.

But the work in searching makes us feel like we are part of the plan.  We don’t like to always feel at the mercy of The Lord – we want a say in it.  We want to feel worthy of the answer and possibly give the Lord some advice on the best way to come through.

Here is a good example I heard a few years ago in a bible study.  God, as our Father, has given us, as His Children, permission to go outside to play in the backyard.  We can play anywhere; do anything within the boundaries of that yard.  But we spend all our time agonizing over whether to play ball, get on the swing set or climb a tree.  We search so hard for the answer when any of those choices are fine with Dad.

Even in the midst of crisis, as Robert J. Morgan writes in his Red Sea Rules,

When unsure, just take the next logical step in faith.

It is always a What Would Jesus Do situation, but He doesn’t hide the answer up His sleeve.  Isaiah 30:18 demonstrates this perfectly.  It says The Lord longs to be gracious to us – it is His business to show us compassion and do what is right for us.  We just need to be willing to do the same.  When we want a billboard, it is usually a 2×4 in the back of the head we need.  He has already made the answer crystal clear.

Love God, love our neighbor and love ourselves.  Included in that is forgiveness, kindness, self-control, and a thankful heart.  It is choosing to say something nice over something nasty.  It is giving to someone when we’d rather be buying something nice for ourselves.  It is patiently explaining when we don’t have the patience.  In its very essence, it is following up on what we have been taught.  When we are living in obedience to our Savior – the answer is there all along.

When walking in faith, the right step is the simplest one.  Perhaps it will not be the easiest one or the one that will make life the most comfortable.  But in the end, when we are seeking God’s glory above everything else, the answer to keeping your game alive is usually right there, staring you in the face.

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