A friend of mine recently invited me to play “Words with Friends” with him. For those who don’t know, Words with Friends is an online (downloadable app) version of Scrabble. What caught me off guard is that this particular friend is less into technology and social media than I am. He doesn’t have a blog, Facebook, or Twitter that I know of. So I was very surprised to get his invitation to play an online game. I downloaded the app and took him on.
It was ugly. I was killing him before he finally resigned and quit the game. We haven’t had a rematch yet. However, I quickly challenged Mihee. I won the first five games. A few were close, but there was a big time blowout in there too. I won’t post the score (out of fear–I mean love–of my wife).
I have to note that I usually crush her when we play real Scrabble too. Honestly, I think I’m undefeated against her in that version of the game. Needless to say, my victories in Words with Friends, both the heart-stopping nail-biters and the blowouts, were expected if not a foregone conclusion.
But then all of a sudden she either got really smart or she learned how to strategically play. I haven’t been able to beat her in nearly a week. Like my friend in the initial game, I am tempted to just quit and move on to something else.
But then I remember the game is meant to be enjoyed and to be something that is fun, not stressful. So I lie and tell her that I’m going to stop letting her win one of these days as I challenge her to a rematch.
More importantly, it is good for me to be reminded how to lose. Trust me, I’ve had my fair share of losing in life. But it’s always good to learn to handle defeat. It makes victory that much sweeter when it rolls around again…and it will roll around again (right?). I’m also mindful how struggle, disappointment, and despair are a part of life. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not in despair about Words with Friends. But during this season of Lent, and the quickly approaching Holy Week, I do know we are called in life to encounter the wilderness, to pick up the burden of our cross and follow, to understand the reality of loss and losing. Sometimes that does include despair, disappointment, and struggle…but we are to never lose sight of the hope that good news and brighter days might just be few short days ahead.
Back to the game, I think it’s my move. And by the way, she’s killing me in this game too. I hope that maybe one day I’ll get some letters to play other than the 5 “E”s I currently hold. Ah, hope–it’s a beautiful thing!