July 5, 2021
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Some years ago, my wife and I were at this couples' party at church, and they played a game that is sort of like that old TV show, "Let's Make a Deal." Everybody brought some "white elephant" gifts - they didn't bring white elephants but that's something you really wanted to get rid of. Of course, all these castaway gifts were nicely wrapped so no one knew what was inside. Then one person (maybe you've done this) has to go to the gift pile, pick one, and they open it. From that point on, each person has a choice when they go to the middle: take one of those unopened treasures, or give one of those unopened gifts in exchange for something that's already been opened that looks good to you - something that you know you want. Now, at this particular party, there was one particular object - this hand-carved lamp stand - that everybody wanted. It was one of the few things of value really. And it didn't matter what lengths a person went to in order to conceal that lamp stand, the next trader inevitably would remember where it was and they'd go for it. Actually, the dealing got pretty animated, in fact, I'd say almost dangerous at times. Everybody was up for grabs, except for one person - the woman who had opened the first gift. See, she remembered the rules of the game - that since the first person didn't get to make a trade, they get to make the last trade of the game. Through all the turmoil, she knew who was going home with that lamp stand all along!