Mountain Top

No "Take Back" After Ante


One of my favorite songs is “The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers. I’ve always been a poker fan; specifically, ”Texas Hold’em.” The beauty of the game is that it can belong to anyone at the table. Every person who antes has an opportunity to fatten the pot and stack her or his chips. The unfocused person loses.

I am not a mathematical whiz, nor am I a professional. Actually, I consider myself a novice. Though the rules are simple, it is the game that takes time to learn. Ultimately, the game is won by the person who has the most insight and empowered perspective, yielding the supreme performance. The one who has the grace and wisdom to know what to do no matter what happens is the winner. The basis of their strategy is not only what is held, but what is presented on the table, how opponents bet, and gut feel. It is not about the cards dealt, who is sitting at your side, how well you are acquainted or your understanding of the game. On the contrary, it is my belief the game of “Texas Hold ‘em” is about how accurately a player can obtain and process all sorts of information.

Don’t misunderstand me, one must know the rules of engagement, how to bet and so on, but more often than not in a game between friends or equals, anyone can win. A good hand is a good hand. The rules of the game are laid out to designate a winner by the ranks of hand presented, but a person with a pair of “8s” can beat another with a “full house” if played like one has “four of a kind.” At the table, the multiple rounds of betting are used to create pressure against the opposition, fatten the pot and in the end, only face off with those brave and focused enough to stay in. I love the game. It is invigorating and its composition elegant and artistic.

My faith walk is much like a card table with the river before me. On every side, I have opposition. I have anted-up. I have moved beyond the turn and now I am standing facing the waters. I am all in. All I can do is crossover. It is too late to fold, so I proceed.

Though the waters are deep, I am holding on to my initial confession without wavering. I believe I have all it takes within me to win the pot and my opposition is already defeated. I have decided to hold, not to fold, walk away, or run.

Kwjuana Thomas

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