Last night, I caught part of the Players’ Championship curling bonspiel on television. (It’s one of the last “cash spiels” of the season, held this year in Toronto.) I was astounded to see a game between Rachel Homan’s team and Chelsea Carey’s team that ended with a 10-to-nothing score after only four ends played. In this tournament, games normally are completed in 8 ends.
What was particularly surprising about this scenario is that both teams are outstanding competitors, and Carey was the winner of the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, the Canadian women’s curling championship, this year. Rarely, at this level of play, does a team get “skunked” – but that’s what happened to the Scotties champion!
I suppose Carey’s team exercised its option to concede the game after 4 ends because the players had lost their momentum and had the wind knocked out of them, so to speak. But might they not be wondering what would have happened had they chosen to play the rest of the game? “What if…?”
Many of us have asked ourselves that question from time to time in our lives, haven’t we?
What if I had married Y instead of X?
What if I had taken that job?
What if I had finished that degree?
And so on. You get the idea.
Our decisions impact us, and others, every day. What sort of discernment process to we undertake when we make decisions? I’m not necessarily suggesting we need to overthink which sock to put on first in the morning, but I am suggesting that we should involve God in significant decisions.
See, often we make decisions based on what we think will make us, or another, happy. “If it feels good, do it”, as the old saying goes, or, “If it’s not hurting anybody…”. If we are followers of Jesus, though, our first goal shouldn’t be our own happiness, but God’s. I fear we can lean toward making decisions based on feeling, or sentimentality, rather than on the clear decrees of God. The Westminster Shorter Catechism reminds us that our chief end in life is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.
When we make our decisions with a desire to glorify and enjoy God, there is no need for “what ifs” in the future.
It’s rare for a team to come back from a ten-point deficit in four ends, so it may be that Chelsea Carey’s team decided to throw in the towel for good reason. In fact, that team is out of the running in the spiel, now, with an 0-4 record. But if I’d been skip of that team, I think I would have seen that game through. Then I’d never have to ask, “What if?”
It’s not like decisions about a game are necessarily life-changing decisions, but we all are faced with life-changing decisions, and we who follow Jesus should know that the name of the game is the glory of God, not the glory of self.
“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10.31, NLT).