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Ebb And Flow

Steal The Gold

When we were kids, we played a game called, Steal the Gold.  Someone lucky would get picked to guard the gold which was usually a rock or a shoe.  Then the rest of us would line up twenty or thirty feet back and prepare to steal the gold.

This was one of my favorite childhood games. There were a few different ways you could work it.  Since you wanted to be the one who got the gold, though, you needed to beat out everyone else.

The gold-guarder would turn their back to the thieves and holler, “steal the gold!”  That was the signal for us move as quickly and stealthily as we could toward the guard.  Then the guard would jump around and face us and yell “stop!”  At this point, everyone had to freeze.  If you got caught moving, you got sent back to the start.


Depending on who I was playing with, sometimes I would get low to the ground and army-crawl steadily forward.  This was a useful tactic because when we had to freeze, it was easy to hold still with the full support of the ground. 

Other times, the competition was fierce and when it was time to steal the gold, a few of us booked it like we were sprinting at the Olympics.  This was risky because when the guard called, “freeze!”  It was very hard to stop.  Most times, with this method, there was a lot of starting over.

Big Risk Big Reward

My favorite time playing that game was when someone literally covered the entire distance and stole the gold on the very first try!  It must have been one of the younger kids that was guarding it because they waited just long enough for the runner to cover the full distance.  But it was brilliant all the same.  I was so bummed I wasn’t the one who thought of it.  And it never happened again for obvious reasons.

We came up with so many fun games as kids!  It’s a wonder we were ever bored.  And yet I remember that too.  When there weren’t any other kids to play with, or someone had to leave to go home.  Boring.  Of course, If I hung around the house too long whining about it, I’d end up with chores.  So, inevitably, it was always better to find something to do.

It was a nice ebb and flow though. Steal the gold.  Stop.

As a grown-up, I still find myself engaging some of the strategies from our old game.  There are projects I take nice and slow.  I stay low to the ground for good balance and stability.  Other tasks, I can’t get through fast enough and I bolt to the end of them as fast as I can.

New Games

Someone once shared with me a Bible verse from a gentle translation out of the Book of Matthew, “Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.”  This is a new game I am learning to play with myself.  It’s a game of flow.  Mostly I am just playing this game on Saturdays and Sundays, but I’m finding it’s becoming my new favorite.

Today is Saturday.  This past week was frenetic with rounds of Steal the Gold in my grown-up life.  Many of the days, I was the winner.  Some of the days felt like I spent too much time getting sent back to the beginning.  I moved too fast and was caught.  I crawled too slow and didn’t make it.


But today is Saturday.  I’m looking forward to flowing into a delicious cup of coffee.  Flowing onto the couch with my sweet husband.  Flowing into some fun projects and adventures.  Unforced.  And this particular weekend we even get an extra day.  Monday is Martin Luther King Jr Day.  So, we will flow down to the ferry terminal, out into the San Juan Islands for some pizza and beer and really lean into the unforced rhythms of grace.

Ebb and flow.  Come Tuesday, I may even be ready again for a rousing round of Steal the Gold.

If you are stopping and starting, or if you are flowing in the unforced rhythms of grace, let’s be friends~

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