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A Slice Of Life To Go is an online Christian blog written by Todd Thompson. It encourages people to see the beauty in ordinary moments and to know God’s unconditional, unfailing love in everyday life.

Triple Word Score

January 17th, 2011

As a kid I was blessed to live just down the road from all my Grandparents. My Dad’s parents lived a half mile away. My Mom’s folks were a whole 2 miles away. The close proximity allowed me to spend lots of time with all of them.

When I was a kid I would play Scrabble with my Grandma Thompson. She was into her 70’s the first time we ever played. Grandma liked words. I remember her doing the Jumble puzzle in the newspaper everyday. She had been a school teacher and principal in the 1920’s before marrying my Grandfather and becoming a farm wife. She believed in being a life long learner and led by example.

Scrabble was fun for her because she was good at it. My Grandfather was good at it, too, but I had a hard time getting him to join us because Grandma most always won. And it wasn’t just that she usually won. It was how she won that made him crazy.

Grandma was what could be kindly described as a deliberate player. Grandpa would describe her as a slow player. She would study the board, look at every possibility, then look some more. Her turn would sometimes turn into a coffee break for me and Grandpa. Finally, she would put down her letters, usually for a big word and lots of points.

On this particular day, Grandpa was winning. As the available letters dwindled to zero, Grandpa got excited. He had a big lead. There were no more letters left to be drawn. We were stuck with what we had on our tray. He managed a double word score and increased his lead to what seemed insurmountable. I played some grand three letter word like “sit” or “dog”.

Then it was Grandma’s turn.

She put her hand to her chin and scanned the board, quietly studying the open squares. Grandpa and I looked at the board and then at each other. Why was Grandma taking so long? We can’t see a single opening anywhere, save maybe adding an “I” to an “F” for “IF”. Certainly nothing that could generate enough to win the game.

Why take so long looking and hoping for something that just isn’t there?

Grandpa was a patient man. He’d been married to Grandma for over 50 years. But he was ready for this game to be over. He was ready to win. “Hurry up, Bernice. Play something.”

“I’m still looking.”

Drink a little coffee. Look out the window. Look at the board.

There’s nothing there.

“Oh”, she says. “This will work.”

She put down the rest of her letters. “Let’s see. That’s on a triple word score, too….48 points. And I’m out. What’s the score, Dettmer?”

Whatever Grandpa said to her he said walking away from the table.

Grandma wins. Again.

I was thinking today that at times my relationship with God is like playing Scrabble with Grandma. I can’t make sense of the board and my letters are all consonants and I can’t draw an “A” or an “E” to save my life. I can’t see any openings and I’ve played the same short words over and over. Words like…

Why?

When?

How?

Where.

Are.

You.

God?

I’ve taken my turn. It’s God’s turn to go. But He’s not going.

Drink some coffee. Look out the window. Pray. Repeat. Again. And again.

Day after day. Month after month.

Year after year.

“Hurry up and play, God!”

And about the time I’m ready to quit and walk away from the game because I see no possibilities, no openings and no chance to make sense of anything in my life, God plays His letters. A triple word score with a “Z” and an “X” for a zillion points. And I stand in awe of how He could make something out of nothing. How He made a way where there was no way.

God wins. Again. He always does. And though it’s sometimes hard for my stubborn self to admit, when God wins in my life, I win.

If you’re waiting for God to play His letters, or wondering how He could ever help you make a word with the goofy mix of letters on your tray, hang in there. Take it from someone who’s gotten out of his chair more than once. Don’t walk away from the game. There is a blessing to be had by staying at the table. Sometimes God is slower than your Grandma. But He’s never late. And He promises that when He makes His play, whatever He puts down for you will be worth the wait.

Oh, about my Grandpa and that Scrabble game…It took a long time before I got him to play with us again. When he finally agreed to another game, Grandma had the first turn. She played a huge word on a double word score. All the usual points plus a 50-point bonus for using all seven letters. She was up 85 to zero before Grandpa’s chair was even warm.

Whatever words he laid down we didn’t hear because he just smiled, shook his head and went outside to work in the garden.

It was just me and Grandma after that.

“But this I call to mind; therefore I have hope: The Lord’s loyal kindness never ceases; His compassions never end. They are fresh every morning; your faithfulness is abundant! “My portion is the Lord,” I have said to myself, so I will put my hope in him. The Lord is good to those who trust in Him, to the one who seeks him. It is good to wait patiently for deliverance from the Lord.” – Lamentations 3:21-26

“For I am confident that He (God) who began a good work in you will continue to perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1:6


Todd A. Thompson – ASliceOfLifeToGo.com