Awhile back, I was part of a semi-regular poker game with a bunch of professors from a local university. I was invited by a friend and it was always a lot of fun. Never too competitive, great conversations while we played, and always good red wine. It was a lot of fun.
One of the things I learned playing is that in poker, your only choice is to play the cards you’re dealt… or fold.
I believe the same is true spiritually.
About a year ago, I came to an important theological conclusion: the Christian life is very much about playing the cards we are dealt. In other words, we are to LOVE, WORSHIP & FOLLOW JESUS WITH AS MUCH PASSION & INTEGRITY AS WE CAN GIVEN THE CARDS WE ARE DEALT — our only other option is to fold.
I call this “PLAN B THEOLOGY”.
Most of us to don’t get the cards we wish we had and we don’t get to write the script for our lives. For most of us, if we are honest, PLAN A is way off in the rearview mirror and now we have to deal with reality.
I know this doesn’t sound like a good thing, but I think it is actually very GOOD NEWS. There is great freedom in living in PLAN B.
I know a lot of Christians who live with constant guilt and anxiety because their life doesn’t look like what they think it should. Others have simply been ambushed by life — a spouse has an affair, a lost job, a failed relationship, an addiction, a bankruptcy, an accident or terminal diagnosis. None of these are PLAN A, but they are PLAN REALITY.
God doesn’t ask us to live an idealized version of life — He wants us to simply live the most abundant and full life we can IN REALITY.
Is divorce ever the PLAN A? Nope. But it happens and we have to make the best of it — or otherwise fold.
All God wants from us is us. Period. Nothing more.
He wants a relationship — and even more than He wants us to love Him, He wants us to know HIS LOVE.
At least for me — and a lot of people I know — great freedom and grace and joy are found not in the longing for what SHOULD BE but in the acceptance of WHAT IS — and then the committment to follow Jesus in the WHAT IS.