Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Game of Life

I am on vacation this week. It rained hard all morning. No running, swimming, playing, investigating, etc… I was watching the Tour de France when our two year old son, David, overruled me. Within a few minutes we were watching Thomas the Tank Engine on the DVD. I’ve seen most of the Thomas videos before. The episode David was watching, Henry and the Elephant, was one I’ve seen a couple dozen times. Benjamin too.

So we found the game of Life. I hadn’t played it for years. It had been so long since I have played, I noticed the rules had even changed. It was Benjamin’s first time playing. We read the rules and started. Here are nine things I learned during those sixty minutes of losing to my son at the game of Life.
  1. It does no good to be the first to finish. I finished well before Benjamin and found myself wanting to play more. Sometimes I think we go so fast and are so focused that we miss out on life.
  2. It costs a lot more to send a kid to college than it does to day care. We should start saving for college when our kids are young.
  3. Flat tires, tornadoes, burglaries all happen. Jesus tells us bad things will happen. He also promises that He will always be with us. I’ll put up with #1 if I get #2.
  4. To do really well in the game of Life, it is better to be lucky than good. In real life it is better to be good than lucky. But getting a few good breaks (whether you call it luck, blessing, grace – that is up to you) can also be very helpful.
  5. In the game of Life, success and achievement are emphasized. People who emphasize such things in real life will most likely feel empty and wanting more. Significance is a higher virtue in life. It isn’t measured in a bank account, but on the impact that you are having in the lives of others.
  6. Giving is considered a bad thing in the game of Life. In real life, giving is the highest level of living.
  7. Competition is the order of the day in the game of Life. One person wins. Everybody else loses. In life, a little competition can be a good thing, but do we really want to live our lives based on how we rank among our peers?
  8. In the game of Life the one with the most money wins. This isn’t how things work out in real life. As a pastor who has spoke at retirement dinners and have done my fair share of funerals, the real winners are the people who have a deep faith in Jesus Christ and a servant’s heart toward God’s children. I have found no exceptions to this rule.
  9. The real point of the game isn’t winning. It is playing. I got to spend a rainy morning explaining mortgages, cosmetic surgeries, and what a mid-life crisis is to my son. It was a great morning even though I lost.
In Christ,


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