“The Gambler”

“On a warm summer’s evening, On a train bound for nowhere,” the unknown of eternal life, “I met up with a gambler,” the Son of God, “We were both too tired to sleep, So we took turns a-starin’, Out the window at the darkness,” darkness before the dawn of faith, “The boredom overtook us, And he began to speak, He said, ‘Son, I’ve made a life Out of readin’ people’s faces, And knowin’ what the cards were, By the way they held their eyes. So if you don’t mind my sayin’, I can see you’re out of aces, at life’s wits end, I’ll give you some advice.’” The two greatest commandments are revealed along with some colorful parables.

“And the night got deathly quiet, And his face lost all expression, Said, ‘If you’re gonna play the game, boy, You gotta learn to play it right.’” Those stumbling and falling days are behind you if you decide to follow me, says the Christ.

“You got to know when to hold ’em, Know when to fold ’em, Know when to walk away, And know when to run.” Multiple life choices throughout our lives but very often only two – the easy path of our self-centered culture or the difficult, but fulfilling, one of faithfulness to Jesus Christ. “You never count your money, When you’re sittin’ at the table. There’ll be time enough for countin’ When the dealing’s done.” Every day becomes a new opportunity to serve God through each other to the best of our abilities. Like the old days of gathering and counting indulgences, grace is never accumulated. Grace lives countlessly within us, thanks to the fluidity of the Holy Spirit.

“Every gambler knows, That the secret to survivin’, Is knowin’ what to throw away, And knowin’ what to keep. ‘Cause every hand’s a winner, And every hand’s a loser, And the best that you can hope for…” What better summary is there of our life’s Catholic/Christian/Muslim/Jewish journies?

Thank you Kenny Rogers for this musical religion lesson. And, thank you Jesus Christ for being our “gambler” – gambling your life to regain ours.

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). www.Salvatorians.com. Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on Amazon.com.
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