Nov 26, 2006

board walk

Hi. My name is Tony and I played Monopoly today.

"Hi, Tony. Welcome to the group."

Seriously... this is a big deal. I've not lost a game of Monopoly since 1985. It used to drive my friends crazy because they would even cheat and I would still come out on top. The rush of winning a 3-4 hour game was all too appealing to a teenager trying to feel good in the awkwardness of high school.

So I essentially haven't lost a game of Monopoly in 20 years.

Granted, I haven't played Monopoly in about 8 years.

Ah.

The last time I played it was against my wife. We had purchased a computer version of Monopoly and I found that the thrill of winning by taking from someone else (especially someone else I loved) didn't have the appeal it once did. So I kind of dropped away from the game and went on to build Jenga towers that relied more on chance than cold-hearted acquisition.

But today, through an interesting set of circumstances, I ended up playing a game of Monopoly against two strangers. People I didn't know... whom I had no affection for other than them being my game neighbors.

So we played.

The rattle of dice. The collection of $200 upon passing "Go." The money collected on "Free Parking." (Yes, I know that's always a disputable issue, but we played that way) The sting of "Go directly to jail" and the joy of rolling doubles to get out.

After an hour we had to call it quits, and so the question remained of who had won. The girl to my left had lots of money but very little properties; the guy across from me had a few scattered properties but not much beyond that; I had a moderate amount of money with two monopolies and a house on one.

I knew within two more hours the game would be mine.

It felt good. I started to feel superior. "Silly players," I thought. "Don't you know you're not supposed to buy anything on the first two corners of the board? Muh-ha-ha-ha-ha!"

Then I caught the Holy Spirit tapping on my heart.

Argh.

Isn't it funny how easy it is to slip into old habits? How quickly we can go from desiring the best for another and then wanting to feel just a wee bit superior? How often we want to have the last word on something and have it be the most clever thing ever said?

Then again... maybe it's "just a game."

Or maybe that's just what we tell ourselves.

I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards... Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 2:4,11)

6 comments:

Scrammy said...

The point is well hit with the scripture from Ecclesiastes. Only that which is eternal will last. Not the winning of a boardgame... or the actual accumulation of a monopoly...

But maybe a kind encouragement from a nieghbor to a girl who doesn't feel she is good at anything...

Maybe that changes an eternity... maybe that is the beginning of shtuff that lasts forever. Saweet!

Sidenote: we prayed for you in Schenck's philosophy class today in terms of your new endeavour. It was a very heartfelt prayer by Ken too :) He said you are a clever guy and he asked God to use your gifts to the full and how thankful we were that you have some stability to enjoy.

tanner ridge said...

After reading your post that preceeds this one, do you feel that the Monopoly philosophy enters into the church growth/staffing mindset also?

Tony Myles said...

Unfortunately, all too often.

"Look at all the buildings we have built!"

"Check out our flow of money!"

"Let's mortgage some assets to build somre more stuff."

"I'm a better player than you."

Ad nauseum.

And yet somehow God loves us and has faith in our ability to navigate through it with his grace.

Anonymous said...

Yes there is always gonna be that in our hearts. all we can do is keep our chins up and continue to praise HIM in whatever we do...and he'll take us back no matter what.

DJG said...

ah man....now you have gone and ruined Monopoly for me...what's next jig-saw puzzles (which is an interesting name...I think they had a special on Science channel, how it was made.....)

Bryan Riley said...

Good post. Anything that distracts us or others from seeking His glory is idolatry. sigh.