The six-year-old card shark sitting across from me let out a whoop as she laid down her last card and triumphantly announced that she was the “Queen of UNO!” As I scanned my disappointing handful of multi-colored cards, my poker face broke into a big grin watching her dance around the table giving delight-filled hugs to each player. It was truly a moment!

Surprisingly, it got even better in the card playing that followed. How? When others won or finished second or third, she gave the same enthusiastic hugs to others to celebrate their success. It was truly beautiful and contagious!

In ways, UNO can be a lot like life. We play the cards we’re dealt from the start and those we pick up along the way. At times, the cards line up for us by color or number and are easily played to move closer to the goal. Other times, our progress is blocked by “Skip” or “Reverse” cards or knocked backwards by “Draw Two” or the dreaded Draw Four.” In UNO and in life, we win and lose with less control than we’d like to admit.

So, how can we get better at celebrating victory both when we win and when others win, often instead of us?

Years ago, a great victory was won in the most improbable of ways. Human selfishness and death were overcome by Jesus Christ on a cross of execution and from a tomb sealed and guarded. This was, and still is, a shared victory of God’s love for human beings and fully available to anyone through faith. Receiving this win and living it out puts all other wins and losses in perspective. By overwhelming comparison, they lose their power to define us and we’re set free to live and love better!

Deal me in!  How about you…