Last night I was playing a game—one of those relatively-simple-but-complicated-to-explain games. Let’s just say that my team and I were trying to get our pegs around the board before the other team did.
Should be fun, right? But games can stress me out. Like, I want to win, and I can see how to win, and although my teammates and I share the same goal of winning, we can’t “table-talk”—laying out our cards together and making a consensus on the best course of action. In order to win, of course.
(Card games would be much less stressful if we could collaborate card hands with teammates. Sigh.)
But this card game taught me something about myself that needs to change. Not just in card games, but in real life, with other people.
See, I desperately wanted to take control of that game—I thought I knew exactly what it would take to win … or at least get closer to winning. I wanted to “play” people: “You move that peg there. Then this one here. Then send theirs back to start, and get my peg home.” My subconscious thought was, “If they will just do what I want them to, this will work.”
Card games don’t work like that, though. Real life teamwork doesn’t, either.
I realized that when I am in a team, and I have responsibility, I want control. I have expectations for the end result and how I want everyone to get there. I tend to approach the job with the goal of trying to get everyone to align my ideas. But you don’t control people like that. It’s futile. And frustrating. And wrong.
It wrong because, first of all, I assume that my way is the right way. How proud can I be? But it’s so easy to overlook other equally valid opinions and therefore overlook the interests of the person behind those opinions! I forget that I am human and fallible and prone to make mistakes!
It’s wrong because it makes me forget that God has made us all differently, so we will all “play our cards” drastically different as well! I may not understand, but I have to release the control, be vulnerable, and trust that you are seeking God and reaching for the same result that I am.
It’s also wrong because I forget God is sovereign. He is in control of the entire board, and He is going to win, no matter what. He sees everyone’s cards, and He promises to work it all together for good. It’s hard to release being in charge, but it’s an indescribable relief to know that winning is not up to me.
And so here we go. We’re all a little blind to what’s going on in someone else’s hand, but we serve the same God. He has us all in His hands. We have to trust some, yield some, release some, and remember that we are on the same team, even if we don’t understand one another or see the big picture right now.
I just started learning this. I believe that He who began a good work in me will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus. So I want to lighten up some, release some of the micro-managing, and love and give and work freely.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/xavitalleda/7995406021/”>xavi talleda</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>