Free parking. Millionaire Acres. Checkmate. All-play.
What do these words have in common?
They’re related to games I like to play. I think games should be the sixth Love Language. It’s no wonder that while unable to sleep due to a really strong cup of coffee my kind friends made me, and while thinking through the stuff of life, my late night creativity started relating it to none other than a board game.
I call this game “The Christian Community.”
Each player is dealt two cards, but is not allowed to look at them. As we take our turns around the board, we land on life tiles – scenarios to be solved – and we choose which player to go to for help with these life tile items. They will then play a card on us. As we learn what cards the players have, we begin to make choices along the way of who we go to based on the specifics of the life tile combined with the cards in the players' hands.
The crazy thing is that the players are not able to look at the cards they are playing on us. They can read everyone else’s cards, however, and upon careful thought, they can figure out their own cards. Once they learn the identity of their own card, they can choose to turn it in for another card or keep it.
Collect life tiles from other players when they choose to come to you. To do this, it is best to figure out your own card, so you can choose to turn it in for a new card or play a different one. If you learn and turn in three cards, you are eligible for the gold card.
These can be anything from broken water heaters to baseball scores, toddler tantrums to troubled teens, cancer, cold sores, and everything in-between.
What are the cards? There are so many, but here are a few that you will encounter as you move your pawn across the board, landing on life tiles:
FIX IT CARD. This card wants to take action at once to solve the problem. A step-by-step plan will be set-up immediately, and if you follow this program, you are guaranteed to win the game, or so they claim.
JUDGEMENT CARD. When you come with an issue, you will be weighed, measured, and found lacking. There is an air of authority and harshness here. It might be based in reality, or it might not, but you are not given the benefit of the doubt.
BIBLE CARD. This card comes complete with a Bible verse for every problem. Similar to the fix-it card, but more spiritual, this player will often not take the time to hear the scenario fully before a Bible verse is dispensed.
YOU’RE STUPID CARD. When you present your life tile, this player thinks you’re stupid for having this problem to begin with. You are dismissed as being an idiot in their eyes. Though this is an unfriendly card, people may still choose this player based on their life tile because of the knowledge or experience that comes with this card.
PRAYER CARD. This player prays on the spot with you. No further action is taken, but sometimes, depending on the life tile, action is not desired.
LISTENER CARD. The player holding this card will listen and ask good clarifying questions to be sure they understand, and they will try to help you come to your own conclusions about the life tile.
PASSIVE CARD. This player will take no action when the life tile is given, one way or another.
EXPERT CARD. Similar to the “you’re stupid” card, but less severe, this player is an expert on everything. You will walk away with loads information, wanted or not, about any topic given.
WORRY CARD. This player will tell you every possible scenario that could go wrong with your life tile.
SWITCH CARD. When this card is played, it is no longer about your life tile, but theirs. The player with this card will immediately play their own life tile, complete with all the details, and your life tile is ignored.
CHEERLEADER CARD. This player will cheer you on, regardless of the life tile. You may not receive any help for your tile, but you know that someone is on your team in the game.
FUN CARD. Your life tile itself is ignored as this player escorts you swiftly to more fun and entertaining areas of the board game.
GOLD GRACE CARD. Often seen as the most desired card in the pack, it is colored gold. It can only be drawn after a player has figured out at least 3 other cards that he has been holding and has turned them in. When you go to someone with this card, the player will listen completely to the description of your life tile, ask good questions to clarify the scenario, and offer help based on the individual need. Often, the help may look like other cards, but that is what give this card its value – it can change based on the current need of the person and tile given.
What other cards have you encountered in this game?
As I move around the board, I’m trying to learn what my cards are. I can look back at past life tiles given to me to see how people responded. When faced with another choice, did they come to me again? I can also seek help from people on my team, but of course I’ll probably hear different responses based on the cards that they’re holding in their hands.
However the game plays out, I want to follow the goal of learning my cards and turning them in, so that in the end, I’ll be left with the grace card. Don’t you?