She understands that there is a time for everything under heaven (Ecc. She understands that a person, a relationship or a situation may need gentle and sustained nurturing, and that the time for reaping cannot happen before she has invested fully in the time for sowing. This is what Saint Paul means when he writes that we must be “fitted with the readiness that comes with the gospel of peace.” Implied in that readiness is the ability to be patient. Patient enough to allow enough time to pass so that even the hardest of teachings can be understood. In doing so, Peter models four ways that the Christian should play in the world’s game. Peter is ready to choose a unique relationship with someone special rather than to add another entry to his little black book.
This summer I signed up for a backgammon tournament.
The Christian does not try to hurry things up or to slow things down.
He does not try to get in the way of a thing as it unfolds. Jesus matters a great deal to Peter — so much so that he can withstand the grumbling of the other disciples without being tempted to walk away. Jesus has entirely confused the situation and alienated many of those who cared about him and undoubtedly who cared about Peter too.
If you’re lucky and have a bit of skill, you might even win! So, for instance, in the game of dating, if you find that your checkers are stuck behind your opponent’s prime, then you should absolutely — for the sake of your self-respect — resign the game.
When that happens you look back and think, “I’m glad I didn’t cut and run. I’m glad I stayed in the game.” *** Games are a metaphor for life and many things that you can learn from playing a game like backgammon or football also apply to real life. And here’s something else I’ve been told: if your opponent — be it your spouse, your lover, your business partner or your colleague — takes power from you, then you better darn well take it back.