Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

It's All About The Endgame

Trisha Hannon Smith

Sequence: a particular order in which related events, movements or things follow each other.


Or, a board game my husband and I have been playing every night for the past month in a competitive, unending round-robin display of stubbornness.


Vince Lombardi famously said, “Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is.” The desire to win is not lacking in our nightly battles.  


In the throes of victory, I often say that my strategy is all about the endgame.  My opponent often gets the upper hand early in the game, but it is through my diligence and resourcefulness that ultimately victory is mine. (Perhaps it’s just luck.)


The game of chess has been played for centuries by those keeping the endgame in sight. There are principles that include strategies like cutting the enemy off and centralizing the king.


Simplistic, I know; but aren’t these principals basic rules for living a Christian life? For growing a faith-filled marriage?


When we make time for each other away from the constant distractions, our comfort with one another grows.  We communicate without assumptions or defenses. We laugh easier. This carries on into other aspects of our lives, creating an ease in our partnership.


As Pope Francis writes in “Amoris Laetitia,” his apostolic exhortation on love in the family, “marriage is an inevitable mixture of enjoyment and struggles, tensions and repose, pain and relief, satisfactions and longings, annoyances and pleasures, but always on the path of friendship, which inspires married couples to care for one another.”


Lombardi is also credited with the phrase, “Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.” Lucky for us there is no perfect marriage or imperfect prayer.  To pray regularly requires discipline, but grows easier in time to make part of a daily routine.


Our children may not wish to join in the game each evening, but they do witness our example of Catholic marriage. The act of sitting and slowing down each evening at the kitchen table away from distractions has created a space in time where we focus on one another.  We work towards resolution of the day’s issues. Regardless of the winner (usually me), we have carved out some time together.


Pope Francis writes, “Few human joys are as deep and thrilling as those experienced by two people who love one another and have achieved something as the result of a great, shared effort.”


Or as magnificent as a six-day streak of reigning victorious in Sequence.