Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Monopoly & Dealing with Loss
Monopoly, the board game upon which many of us learned how to count money as we bought and sold properties is going cashless. According to an Associated Press story, the new version will feature the use of a VISA-imprinted debit card that is swiped into a palm-sized scanner in order to close a deal.
The game has been around since the beginning of the 20th century in a variety of forms. The standardized form that most of us know was patented in 1935 by Parker Brothers.
My point of reflection took place on the AP comment that Monopoly became popular around the time of the Great Depression because it offered a form of escapism during our country's worst financial crisis. Players were allowed to pretend that they had money when they in fact didn't.
There's nothing wrong with "pretend" or using one's imagination. However, many of us have an aversion to experiencing or feeling our losses. Some of us are experiencing the loss of youth, the loss of a loving relationship, the loss of health or dozens of other losses that could be mentioned.
Interestingly, when Jesus lived as a fully human person on our planet 2,000 years ago He didn't insulate Himself from experiencing loss. He was acquainted with sorrow, grief and pain. Jesus also instructed us, "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted."
It occurs to me that many never reach the state of "comfort" because they fail to mourn. A Christian kind of mourning is not just sitting in a corner feeling sad but rather a turning to Jesus with our sadness. It is having a hope and confidence that Jesus will use our loss to bring blessing in some kind of way. Perhaps today is a day to risk dealing with your loss by looking to Jesus.