Critical Thinking

Play the Hand You Are Dealt

This was another lesson I got from reading WILL, Will Smith’s autobiography, co-written by Mark Manson. Like I’ve said, the lessons are plenty, and I don’t know how this one was missed in the twelve I compiled last week!

Actually, it was one of the early lessons that struck me and got me responding immediately. Will Smith said that people want to play the hand they wish they had, not the one they were dealt. But we should always play the hand we are dealt.

It seems so basic, and I’m sure many of us already know these things, but what resonated was what he said about wishing we had a different hand rather than using what we have to our advantage. This simple lesson has even changed the way I play a game on my phone that I love so much – Drop the Number.

In Drop the Number, I have plan, but I never know which number I’m going to get next. Sometimes, I stack things up, waiting for the perfect number to come, but it doesn’t, and I end up losing, though I had some other good numbers that I could have made something great out of. Realising that I still have good choices available to me, and I don’t need to wait for that perfect number sequence, has really improved my game strategy. And I have found that, sometimes, even though the numbers that fall seem to destroy the thing I had in mind to build, somehow, if I simply play the ones I receive well, I manage to get what I wanted in a different way, or even end up with something better!

Isn’t that just life? I’m sure many of you can relate.

There are many of us in the waiting room of life… We are miserable because we are not getting the numbers (breaks) we want. Everything seems to be sabotaging the plans we have for ourselves, and we start to think our future is bleak. But the truth is, we just need to change how we see and receive what we get and make some adjustments as necessary.

So, you’re almost forty, and you thought by now that you’d have finished having your kids…but you’re not even married yet! You probably don’t have a stack or a plan anymore. Maybe you are just pairing the pieces as they fall, and you dread the moment when your fate will be sealed and the game will be over…when the last piece falls, and it has no match…

However, another thing that I’ve seen happen in Drop the Number, which I know also happens in life, is that in the last minute, when you think, “This is it, I’m done for,” the piece that drops lands at just the right place to result in a big break… Your stack comes downs so much, it’s like you’ve been given a new lease on life, and what you didn’t expect or plan for happens and shocks you…

So, things can still turn around. Don’t lose hope.

But if you really want to win, and win big, like Will, then you need to stop waiting for the perfect hand and play the one you are dealt. Unlike Drop the Number, which you can pause to reassess what you have and your plans, we don’t have a pause button on life, but we have to factor regular rest as part of our lifestyle and strategy for success. I guess that’s why God instituted a weekly Sabbath.

If we don’t take this regular time to reassess our priorities, experience and express gratitude for all we have, and readjust our plans in line with our current circumstances and ultimate vision, we are going to keep letting life happen to us and feeling powerless to affect our destiny.

You may not have the kids, but maybe you have the career you love. You may not have lots of money, but maybe you enjoy great health. You may have only one leg, but God gave you such a strong spirit and sharp mind, which you can use to prosper yourself. Whatever your situation, God didn’t leave you without an advantage. Find it; use it!

Even when bad things happen, and our hopes are dashed by betrayal, disappointment, death, or other issues of life, we have to see them also as OUR HAND. The most incredible people in the world are those who have turned their pain into their means of thriving. Those who made the most of what many others would consider a terrible hand.

Yes, it is necessary to grieve the losses. We need not be so calculating… But we owe it to ourselves not to wallow. Time is always moving, and people are waiting for you to play your hand. Take a break to reassess and restrategise and get back in the game.

By so doing, you will inspire and motivate others, the way Will has inspired and motivated me. You will ultimately receive your reward from God for how you used everything He gave you through your brief life on earth.

Jesus said, “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much…” (Luke 16:10 KJV).

Our whole duty is to be FAITHFUL and be good stewards of what was entrusted to us. And we need to be aware, intentional, and disciplined in order to get profitable results and bring an interest to the Father (Matthew 25:14-30). Even the shrewd manager was praised and used as an example of someone who turned a bad situation around for his gain (Luke 16:1-8).

So, what is in your hand? Know that God can use it, and He expects you to make the most of it. He has such great things in store for you, but He also wants you to feel worthy of them when He deems fit to bless you with more. If we feel unworthy, we will handle our gifts like a thief, not like the rightful owner. And that would be a greater injustice than to give you nothing at all.

No matter how bleak your situation looks, take a moment and consider what you may not be considering. Also, take some time now to say, “Thank You, Lord, for all the wonderful things I have in my life to enjoy and bring an offering to you.”

God bless you.

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If you liked this post, you might like TWELVE LESSONS I GLEANED FROM WILL SMITH’S MEMOIR

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2 replies »

  1. Thankfully, we can always “add new cards” as will Smith did. He started as a ‘punk kid’ rapper… and went on to add tv star actor, then movies to where most people today dont even remember “dj jazzy jeff” was ever associated with him. The “cards we are dealt” are only the cards “We have” at the moment. But they need not be the Only ones we ever have, or what hope have we of redemption or change? Christ Jesus radically reshuffled our cards when He from the Cross said “it is finished” and ended the poorest “hand” anyone has ever ben dealt… sin and judgement and “perdition” to come. In a way… He showed us that just because we’d been “dealt” a bad hand, it can always be turned to All Aces if we but look “forward” to opportunities that lie ahead instead of backwards to just what life has “given us”. Hope lies in change and opportunity. Resignation leads only to stagnation and despair. I’ll put my cards on Hope. -Barabbas.

    Liked by 1 person

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