October 15, 2021 — Solitaire or Double Solitaire?

“I was talking with my next-door neighbor last night,” Stan began, “and he had a story to tell me about his grandchildren and a couple of decks of cards that has significance for his faith walk.”

“Grandchildren, cards, and faith walk?” I replied. “What’s that all about?”

“Well,” Stan said, “it seems his two teen-age grandchildren were visiting and he was somewhat bothered by how much time they spent on their cell phones texting, looking at social media sites, and that sort of thing.”

“Yeah,” I responded, “that can take a lot of time and attention, some of it not so good. So did your neighbor do anything about it?”

“He did,” Stan replied. “He taught them how to play old-fashioned solitaire with a deck of cards.”

“But couldn’t they have done that with an app on their phones?”

“Of course,” Stan said, “but that would have defeated the purpose of trying to get them off of their cell phones!”

“Okay,” I replied, “so he taught them to play solitaire with real cards. What’s the spiritual lesson?”

“It turned out that the grandchildren really enjoyed playing,” Stan said, “but as they both sat at the table playing individual solitaire, my neighbor was given the idea to introduce them to double solitaire so they could play together, helping each other out.”

“But I still don’t see the spiritual significance,” I commented.

“We are not to be solitary Christians,” Stan replied. “While we are to pursue an ever-deepening personal relationship with God, that personal relationship is to result in being involved in the Christian community helping others.”

“Helping others in what way?” I asked.

“Ways,” Stan replied. “Plural. Each of us is to help other believers in whatever ways they need, whether it’s physical needs, encouragement, growing in their own personal relationship with God, whatever.”

“So,” I said, “I’m not to sit there playing solitaire when there’s someone who is available for double solitaire. Is that the point?”

“You got it my friend,” Stan replied. “And it’s to be a life, not just a game!”

_____________________________________

Bible verses to consider:

And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts of the Apostles 2:42.

And all those who had believed were together, and had all things in common. Acts of the Apostles 2:44.

And it came about that when He had reclined at table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them. Luke 24:30.

So also you, since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek to abound for the edification of the church. 1 Corinthians 14:12.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for all of your provision in everything: life eternally with you when it’s time, the eternal life of knowing you and Jesus ever more deeply before then, and all of the physical provision you make available. I confess that too often I tend to want to keep it all for myself, rather than sharing it with others as you intend. Please forgive my selfishness. Please help me in following every step of your lead to not be a solitary Christian, but to be involved with the Christian community exactly as you intend, sharing all you have for me to share. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: Sharing God’s provision should be a natural consequence of the first step of discipleship, that of denying self. Do you agree with that? Why or why not? If you have the assurance of salvation for when your time here is done, how are you doing with sharing the truth of that assurance with others so they can have the same thing? How about sharing with others what God shows you about Him. How about sharing physical resources? If you sense a calling for change, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

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