Sunday, August 09, 2009

Bible Gambling...Don't knock it till you've tried it.

For better or worse my husband has always played a game with the kids, which involves Bible questions and cash. Sounds holy doesn’t it? Read on it gets better.

The kids love this crazy game and look forward to it.

My husband begins by giving everyone eight pennies. In turn each child puts up the amount of pennies they are willing to risk and then they get their question. If answered correctly they gain the amount of pennies they wagered. If they get it wrong they lose their pennies. To be fair the questions are age appropriate, with each child usually surprising us with how much they have learned. Our younger kids generally get questions where the only answers are God or Jesus. We all cheer and everyone is very happy.

This particular evening I was observing the game and playing the phone-a-friend role while our youngest son dozed on the couch. Things were going quite well or as well as one might expect in the world of Bible gambling. Our oldest son would respond to everyone’s questions with, “That’s easy. Can I answer that one?” Our oldest daughter was raking in the cash with her total coming to 14 cents (that girl’s been reading her Bible). Sadly, our 5-year-old daughter could not be helped even with the largest of hints. After three tries she finally remembered that Noah built the ark.

The end of the game saw the 5-year-old trailing the other children, a fact which did not escape her. In frustration she commented that everyone had more pennies than she did. We tried to soothe her by pointing out that she had no pennies when we began but now had seven to keep. It was no use - reason was lost in the wake of emotion.

I didn’t help things one bit when I innocently praised her sister for how much she had been reading her Bible lately.

As a result we were hardly surprised when our 5-year-old announced rather loudly, “But I can’t even read!”

Classic! Clearly, I should have been more careful in my appraisal of the children and the situation. Our older daughter took notice.

As we wrapped up and everyone gathered their winnings, the girls sat conversing and before we knew it had come up with a plan. They declared to us that next time they would work together as a team, so that they could help one another with the answers to the questions and consequently split their earnings. What clever, communal and capitalistic thinking.

With bedtime approaching they ran upstairs, to read their Bibles I assume, and prepare for the next Bible match, date and time TBD. The last we heard was our older daughter offering to read while the 5-year-old promised to listen attentively. Ah, teamwork.

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