Thursday, March 28, 2013

Throw Away The Scorecard

Peg and I have a little "ritual", most mornings. We eat breakfast .. regardless of how big or small .. at the kitchen table. The one with the pretty view through the big picture window. After breakfast, we play a game of Phase 10.

It's a game using dice, in which the objective it to roll .. you get three tries per turn .. different combinations of dice.

See Score Sheet for details.

There's just a little bit of skill involved. Just a little.

After the game, I always wad up the Score Sheet and toss it in the trash can that sits by the cabinets, next to the table. And, in thinking about it, I think that's one reason why it's been so much fun. See, we play a game, and then somebody wins and somebody loses (albeit we have tied, twice). But after the fun's over, that's it. There's nobody running up a "string of victories", and at our age, we never remember who won yesterday anyway. So it's good fun, with no downside.

It brings to mind the years in the late 60's that I coached Little League, in Indianapolis. I was in the League with the youngest players, just above T-Ball. Now, the stated purpose of Little League, as told to us at that time was "To let children have fun playing baseball". And that's one thing I drilled into my kids .. let's have fun with this, and we can do that whether we win the game, or not. And let's be the "good guys" out  there .. let's be the ones to go over and congratulate the other team, whether we won or lost. And everybody got to play 3 innings. And, by that, I meant three full innings.

See, some coaches would put the weaker players in after 2 outs in the bottom of an inning, and take them after one out in the top of the inning, 2 innings later. Technically, they played IN 3 innings, but they were only in for 1 inning plus 2 outs.

We just didn't play that way. And I told all the parents that, too. I recall one lady .. the exception .. who thought so highly of her kid's ability that, when I told the parents that, she switched her son to another team.

We had a lot of fun that year, and guess what .. by the end of the year, we were the best team in the league. Last game, we played the team with the best record, and the one that the kid who switched teams was on. Not only that, but we turned a real double play, and the clumsiest kid on the team hit a home run. And we beat them!

Since I was not an experienced coach, and since I didn't have any "stars" on the team, I can only conclude that being happy, doing your best, and just enjoying the game was the secret to being the best on the field.

I wonder if there isn't a Spiritual application to that. Could it be that the Westminster Shorter Catechism is really right (despite that dreaded "Westminster" label)? It says"

 "Man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever".

I also buy John Piper's explanation of how man glorifies God. There may be several things we can do, but Piper said "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him".

I've harangued my SS class for years that we should live as who we are: Christians, and happy to be so. As open about that as we are about being married. And we wear a ring, which tells even the casual observer we're married.

And, for the church: do I even need to go into the fact that loves keep no record of wrongs? That we should throw away that scorecard, too?

I'm a follower of Jesus. I'm going to live out this life on earth, with all the troubles God said I'd encounter. And, despite the woes, He's given me gifts that enable me to join Him in His work here. Even at that, there's no need for a scorecard, since He's the one that's producing the results .. and the thrills .. anyway. 

And then I'll get to go to heaven. 

Win-win!  

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