Does God Give Side-Eye? Just Wondering

by - 10:47 AM

A couple of days ago, I sat at a long table in a pleasantly muggy room, decorated like it was 1997 and would be forever. It was weirdly quiet, except for the one woman who held the undivided attention of every single human in the room. In steady intervals she calmly spoke into a microphone: 


By the way, I play bingo now, and I also use anti-aging products. Draw your own conclusions. 

So, here's the thing about bingo: it's not what you think it is. At least, not if what you're going on is your 2nd grade expectations of bingo. It's fierce and competitive and people are invested. Women sit solitary at a long table, one large enough to seat your entire family on Thanksgiving. But you guys, it's not Thanksgiving and your family isn't there. She sits there alone. Well, alone with her seventeen bingo sheets, and trust me, she's not lonely. 

Side note -- there's money to be won in bingo. Surprisingly big money. Like, a hundy or two. 

When you're that invested in bingo, time, table space, and otherwise, you kind of expect to win. There I sat, with my one bingo sheet, equipped with my pink dauber and styrafoam cup of ice, not quite so invested, but still dreaming of a bingo. And like I said, it's dead silent in that room. Silent enough that when someone yells "BINGO!" you can hear the immediate, collective sigh.

So there I am, on round 37, my dauber drying up and my ice long gone. We begin the green board which carries a large prize, we're talking $1,000, and that's when I sink to my newest and lowest low. Anxiously raking my fingers through my hair, I whisper "God, please let me win bingo now."

A few immediate questions:
- Is it ever okay to ask God to take his mind off the starving children in Africa and focus on helping me win some money, and let's just say it, blue-haired prestige?
- Does God ever roll his eyes?
- Does God ever fall out of his chair laughing?
- Do I immediately and irretrievably fall to the bottom of the "prayer request hotline?"
- When my number pops on God's caller ID, does he see it and sigh, "not her again," before letting it go to voicemail?

I learned in Sunday school that God answers all prayers, but sometimes his answer is more along the no, or not yet, variety. Not to be anti-climatic or anything, but my bingo prayer was just that very kind. After four hours of heart palpitations, God firmly said, "nope!"

The problem with "nope," is that I really prefer "yes" and "boo-yah" and "have a grand!" Also, "have some ice cream, because it's nice."

Is there a positive conclusion to this story? I mean, yes. I lost in all 942 rounds, but I had a fun, I also had a few heart-attacks because I am not made for anticipatory stress, but for $14, I had a fun four hours. I also learned a valuable lesson -- to beat the old ladies, you gotta get invested and buy approximately 372 bingo boards. And focus.

And, obviously, don't ask God to win. 

Cheers to Wednesday! Halfway to the weeeeeekend!

Thumbs up, indeed.

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