Sometime around finals week last year, I became addicted to Bingo Luau, a game at pogo.com. I also got addicted to a couple other ones… but Bingo Luau was the one I always gravitated toward when I didn’t want to think about anything of substance after a long day of classes. I also appreciated that it relied so much on luck rather than skill… because lets face it… I got no skills what-so-ever. At least with a good game of chance I wouldn’t feel like a complete idiot, right?
Anyway. So I get myself good and addicted to Bingo Luau, and then I quit when summer rolled around, and tonight, I picked it up again. And I remembered… gosh, I really hate bingo. Seriously. I hate that I have just as much of a chance at winning as anyone else does. I hate how I can have a card full of numbers and the caller doesn’t seem to want to call any of the right numbers. I hate even more how I can be so close to a bingo, I can be ONE number away, and someone else will win it anyway. It’s a mini heartbreak every time. I remember one time, in real life, I played bingo with my grandma. I could have won $500. I was one space away. And some old hag had the audacity to yell “Bingo!” before I got a chance. And what does some old lady need $500 for, anyway? I’m the starving college student, here.
Bingo is frustrating because you have to play the card you are dealt. You have the option of switching cards, sure, but there’s no surefire way to pick a card that will have all the winning numbers on it, unless of course, you possess some kind of psychic ability, which the average Joe doesn’t. Chances are that I have a higher probability of losing than I do of winning… unless of course, I’m the only one playing.
So if the odds of losing a game of Bingo are so much higher than the odds of winning… then why do I keep going back to play it?
For starters, in the case of the school year, I’m tired of thinking and need to mindlessly click numbers rather than ponder Heidegger’s metaphysics and how my daesin is always in flux.
There is also some kind of excitement with the game in itself… that maybe THIS time is going to be the time I will be a winner. And as numbers get dotted off one at a time, this tension grows and grows until either I win or someone else does.
There is also the general satisfaction of winning. Losing really sucks… but winning feels great. I love being the person to press Bingo first and look in that little chat box and see everyone write something akin to “AGHHH!!!!! SO CLOSE!!!!!” I love the “It’s my lucky day!”-feeling… that for that particular moment in time, the internet universe gave me… ME!… that winning card.
And the way pogo.com works… whether you win or lose, you still earn points. I’m not sure what to use these points for aside from making a nifty little avatar for myself… but the more I play, the more points I earn. This way, even if I lose, I can’t get too disheartened, because I know that it was still worth my time to play.
So anyway. To kind of shift gears slightly, I’ve felt a lot of heartbreak lately in regards to being disappointed at the hand I’ve been dealt. It all kind of happened at once, and my most recent heartbreak was that I did not receive the job that I had interviewed for and wanted oh-so-badly. Out of over 200 applicants for this position, I was one of four chosen for an interview. My interview went REALLY well. I floated out of my interview like I had just been kissed for the first time by the love of my life. I thought I had it in the bag. Today, I woke up to a phone call with undesired news… that I did really great and that they had a really difficult time making this decision, but they wound up picking someone who they felt was just a little better suited for the job. Someone else beat me to the Bingo.
And it’s so frustrating, you know? It hurts real bad. I was so close. But the card I was dealt was simply not a winner this time. In the end, I realize the overall experience was something to be proud of. I was one of four, of 200, picked for an interview. I had prepared for that interview days before I had it. I was confident in myself, and maintained a decent balance between staying hopeful of the potential outcome, but grounded myself by keeping another job opportunity open that I do want, but is only my second choice as it’s part time.
In the last Sunday’s second reading, the author of the letter to the Hebrews (Paul? Maybe? Probably some kid named Frances) writes about discipline, and seeing our trials and hardships as being “disciplined” by the Lord. The author writes, ““My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord, or lose heart when reproved by him; for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines; he scourges every son he acknowledges. Endure your trials as ‘discipline’; God treats you as sons. For what ‘son’ is there whom his father does not discipline? At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain, yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it.” Like a rock in a stream, I am being smoothed over as I endure the crashing water and tumultuous conditions of life. It hurts, and it sucks, but I am being made better for it. My rough edges are being smoothed and I am growing into the young woman I was created to be. God doesn’t give me these challenges because he’s a mean fat kid on an anthill on a sunny day with a magnifying glass. He doesn’t *want* me to suffer. He wants me to be *better.* Sara 2.0. Because Sara 1.0 is really not the right version for whatever is in store for me. And when Sara 2.0 is ready, God is going to give me something really great. It’s easier to say that than to believe it… but somewhere deep down inside, I believe it.
So this time, I didn’t win. But there’s always next time. And when my “Bingo!” comes… I will be all the more ready for it.