Calling Myself As Partner

26 07 2011

It doesn’t happen very often, but occasionally I get (what I think is) an unbeatable hand in Rook; in fact, sometimes I get a hand that is so indomitable that I, feeling invincible, call myself as partner.

In case you aren’t aware, in Rook one usually plays with a silent partner. The person who takes the bid calls a card like, “the red fourteen” and somewhere along the way, when that card is played, you know that person is on your side, helping you, and your points (or losses) in the end are shared. It is usually a real advantage to have that partner; they often save the day. But when your hand ends up being mostly one color and, combined with this, you have one or several of the highest cards, overconfidence sets in and you decide not to share the winning points of your inevitable glorious triumph.

I am typically a conservative Rook player, but something takes over when I think my hand is unconquerable; overconfident, I have at times called myself as partner. Sometimes this works in my favor, sometimes it doesn’t.

There are two problems:

  1. First, as great as my hand is, the winning bid takes the “nest” and you never know what kind of junk you are then going to have to contend with. Sometimes, picking up the nest, I realize my strategy did not count on picking up a bunch of multi-colored lower end point cards. Disaster.
  2. Second, the one who wins the bid does not lead the first play. Not leading the first play can change EVERYTHING. Someone else can gain the control I was counting on and by throwing higher cards in the few colors I have left in my hand can steal significant points.

My problem is, I really only have one strategy. It involves me being in control and me winning. If someone steals my advantage though, I realize I have only thought things through so far. Recently I called myself as partner and tanked.

I can live like this. I can live calling myself as partner; with my own skills and foresight I can move ahead or respond to situations, blind to the fact that “all I know is partial and incomplete” (1 Corinthians 13:12). I don’t know everything; there is, in fact, more I do not know than know.

Do I believe that? I think in some things I do have that sweet feeling of not having to know everything, almost an abandonment of having to know; but that can be fatalism instead of a powerful trust in the Most High God who does know everything. Do you know what I mean? I can just say, “I don’t know” as a sort of excuse or escape, rather than as fuel to push me towards God, to seek Him with all my heart because I am lost and know it. Saying, “I don’t know,” doesn’t mean I am ready to leave room for other people’s wisdom either.

Knowing what I know is partial and incomplete should be a compelling argument for needing, desperately, the guidance of Scripture.

Knowing what I know is partial and incomplete should draw me to prayer often throughout my day.

Knowing what I know is partial and incomplete should increase my love for my fellow sojourners.

Knowing what I know is partial and incomplete is a great mantra for the person who is trying to have faith like a child.

Calling myself as partner is decidedly unwise. I may think I know the hand I have been dealt, but there is still the unknown, and there is still every other natural and supernatural move at play. Do I think I can control the game with my limited information?

Since my knowledge on every subject is partial, I need the “all-wise, all-powerful, and ever-present God” (Jeremiah 42:11 AMP). Since everything I think I do know is still incomplete, I need a perspective that is higher than my ways, and thoughts that are higher than my thoughts (Isaiah 55:9).

If only I could remember this the next time I think I am so smart, completely right and absolutely invincible because sometimes I convince myself that I really am. Sometimes I really do think I am my own best partner; right until I lose a round or two.

— Teresa Klassen

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