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Does God Play Soltaire?

2 May 2012




Who would have guessed back in the heady, space-race ‘60s that the most common use of computers in the 21st century would be solitaire?

[Allow me to digress. I used to work with the Civil Air Patrol, the Air Force auxiliary tasked with search and rescue. Every searcher carried survival gear so they didn’t become lost or injured themselves. Most kits included a small deck of playing cards. The official reason was to occupy your mind and keep you in one place if you became lost. The unofficial reason was that by your third hand of solitaire, some random person would pop out of the woods and tell you to play the red jack on the black queen, and you were found! Thanks for letting me get that out of my system.]

Solitaire makes a game of turning chaos into order, a random mess into tidy stacks. When I play – too often and too long, I admit – I become aware of the Father playing with me. My mind is distracted from its normal spinning frenzy, and my spirit is free to relax. In that moment, I become aware of the Father’s kind, quiet presence. Sometimes he shows me a sequence of moves that make progress. Most of the time I get the impression he smiles and even chuckles.

Because solitaire, like much in our lives, is us playing God.

Who is better at drawing order from disorder? I can take a pile of electronic components and build a radio. But God first invented the building blocks of matter and then built galaxies, stars, planets, and even us warm, squishy, fuzzy things called humans. That was impressive, and God took off Saturday to rest. He didn’t retire, but he did jump headlong into recreation.

Into re-creation. Not his. Ours. We bring him our sins, our mistakes, our misunderstandings, and the drama those cause. He puts things back in order, restoring our health, our relationships, our spirits, and our minds. That’s what “making all things new” means.

That things go as well as they do is not trivial. Do you know there is a recognized force of chaos in the universe? Physicists and engineers call it entropy. Scientists codified it in the second law of thermodynamics. Essentially, everything is falling apart, not falling together. No explosion in a watch factory ever produced a watch. No, it reduced watches to scrap. So it is with our lives.

Without God, every stupid thing we do would form breaks in our lives that would propagate like cracks on a windshield.

So, does God play solitaire? I count on it.

Only, he wins more often than I do. Mr. Sol E. Taire beats me like a rug.

Mike Pulley

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