21 October 2010

Vacation Blessings: Day 7

The Trip

A very good college friend of mine joined us today. Together with our hosts, we went to Old Town Alexandria for lunch at Gadsby's Tavern and a tour of Christ Church, where George Washington and Robert E. Lee attended.

In the evening, we played games, including Hearts (with Jack of Diamonds as -10, Ace of Diamonds as 5, and trickless as -5 -- best. variation. evar.) and Bohnanza.

The Blessings

Historical Stuff. As a history nerd, I absolutely loved seeing Old Town, and especially Gadsby's and Christ Church. It always fires my imagination to realize that I am occupying the same physical space that has been occupied by people I admire. Of those, Washington and Lee are both near the top of the list. Washington's undying commitment to the good of others and Lee's loyalty to his commitments, even in the face of disagreement with the South's ideological position, are the sort of legacy I would like to leave.

Games. Playing games with friends is one of my favorite pastimes. It's great to match wits with each other in a friendly, low-risk way. I think it really helps me to grow closer to my friends and learn to admire them more. Games also allow a social circle to become stronger and more stable. And, especially significantly for me, games teach you how to be happy with losing. They also teach you that losing isn't the end; it's just an opportunity to learn and improve.

Seeing Old Friends. They remind me that God works differently in each of His children. While we all long for the same heavenly city and for its Lord, Jesus Christ, He tailors our situations and journeys to maximize our growth and usefulness. For a long time, it bothered me that my friends all had to take separate paths from me. More recently, I have come to understand and accept that it is God's way of weaving a more diverse, more wondrous tapestry. I guess you could say I've stopped obsessing over His technique and started enjoying His artistry more fully.

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