I hate losing, mainly because I’m so bad at it. I yell, cheat, make snide remarks, and when my situaton seems particularly dire, I sometimes find myself whiling away the time between turns, plotting violent revenge against whoever happens to be winning. Last night, that was my sister.
We were playing Risk, a board game in which players fight for world domination. My sister had publicly proclaimed, however, that her only aim was to destroy me, even if it meant letting my dad win the game. This, to my experienced judgment, seemed unsportsmanlike. But my thoughtful advice as to how she might improve her strategic position, coupled with a kick to the shins (subtly delivered under the table, of course), only succeeded in deepening her resolve.
So when Bethany finally lost, I rejoiced, even though I’d already been out of the game for an hour. In the midst of my quiet (and tasteful) celebration, however, I spotted a flaw in my position. During the game, I’d planned and plotted and sulked. I was consumed by my competitiveness, by my anger.
Please don’t misunderstand. For the duration of the match-up, I looked and sounded like any other normal adult. I smiled and laughed and held up my end of the witty repartee required when playing parlor games. But it was a farce. Underneath the happy face, I was anything but happy.
It makes me wonder. If I could successfully separate inner experience from outward expression during a game — a kind of social schizophrenia — then doesn’t that make me a liar in real life?
This caused a problem for me as I claim to be a Christian. If God is the source of all truth and if all truth is God’s truth, then the Christian character must be marked by integrity.
I realized (once again) that I haven’t yet become the kind of person I claim to be, and it’s beginning to look as though this journey is going to take at least a lifetime.
it’s beginning to look as though this journey is going to take at least a lifetime