I was sitting here playing my usual game of solitaire and not doing so well.  I like this game because I cannot win every time. There is no challenge to a game when one wins all of the time. Luckily in this level of this  game, I win only a third of the time. But I can play each hand over and over until I do win. It is just playing or not playing that certain card at the right time. I do get stubborn once in a while and play that one hand until I win. But then I remind myself, “its just a card game”.  As I was playing one round this morning, a thought struck me up beside the head. I had one string of hearts almost ready. All I needed was one more card and that string would lead me to a win. I even sacrificed a couple other strings in order to win that string of hearts. I enjoy this game because I can sit here and not think. That is a great blessing for me, to not think.  Normally, I would sit here and think about that solar flare. Questions would float by and get me to wondering even more.  You know, thoughts like, if gamma rays can reach the earth so quickly, then why can’t we travel the universe that fast?  If the sun is spewing out so much energy, when is it going to run out of fuel?   Has it already begun to run out?   Really important questions such as that come skipping by.  This is why I play solitaire so to slow the mind down. Yes, I do fall asleep and spill my coffee once in a while. But not this morning. I began to consider those strings of cards I sacrificed to attempt to win. How often life is just like that. We think if we play our hand this way it would surely be a win for us. I got to thinking about that youngster, that teenager that was set aside for the sure win. Yet still, the game was lost. So, I went back and played that round again. This time no longer sacrificing others for the sure win. This time I beat that hand. Unfortunately, life is not like that. We can not go back and play that round over. All too often though the card player, the coach, the leader plays only to win. Others are indeed sacrificed for that anticipated win. What have you just taught those you sacrificed?  I sincerely feel, there has to be winners and also losers in a game. Someone full of sunshine and eagerness wants to play. They are now sacrificed for what appears to be a sure win. What have you just done to that ball of sunshine?

When I was in high school years ago, I became the junior high basketball coach. I always made sure everyone on the team played. I would even stop a game to redirect their energies if they got lost in their efforts. On one particular home game, a couple of players got sort of lost in what to do.  I stopped the game and had the whole team out on the floor. We took our time out to have a basketball lesson right then and there. Not once pointing out any faults. The game then went on with the same players. Those that were lost now had enthusiasm and sunshine in every move they made. One of the parents pulled me aside after the game. They had never seen a coach do that. But they had also never seen their son come back from being lost to being one of the better players of that game.

People get lost, kids get lost, but should never be sacrificed just to win that one game. All that is needed here is open our eyes. Recognize the fact of what you are about to do. Are you about to make a sacrifice because you think you can win?   More often then not, you will lose more than you will ever win.  But, then again, I guess that is how some folks live. I would rather see that ball of sunshine and feel the energies of the stars.     Ken White    an ole softie    ( just this one time)

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