Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: The Game of Life (09/11/08)
TITLE: Sometimes When I Consider
By Becca Gossman
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I learned to play games all of my life. I learned to play card games, dice games, board games, group games, solitaire games. I’ve played them all. (Sometimes with an obsession.) I love games. What I liked the best, however, was to win. And, if I didn’t win, I wasn’t happy. I suppose I could cheat and win; and maybe on an occasion I did, but really when all was said and done, it was when I won through my own devices, my own careful thinking, my intelligence and my planning that brought about the greatest excitements in winning.
I think that playing games gives us a certain amount of control. Sometimes, we like to think that we are in “complete” control. But, that roll of the dice, or that particular spin of the wheel, or that unfortunate “move back three spaces,” doesn’t always give us the control that we want. We want to move ahead. And, we want to move ahead and we want to win – and we want to win now.
I was raised in Sunday school. In Sunday school we learned Bible stories, we ate snacks, we colored papers and we played games. As I grew up in the church, I heard sermons, I ate at potlucks and I learned to play games. I learned that I could get my own way and move a step ahead of everybody else through various tactics and manipulations. I learned to manipulate people through emotions and (unfortunately) prayer requests. I learned that the way to get ahead was by telling someone that I felt God was leading…when I knew in my heart -- deep down in the inner recesses of my heart -- that it was I who wanted to lead.
One day, while playing in this game called life, at the age of 16, I came face to face with the reality that I wasn’t in control. Even though I had been to church all of my life, I found out that there is Somebody bigger than I who is control, and that He has complete control. It was really difficult for me to give up that bit of control I thought I had, and give it totally over to Him.
Sometimes in life, I’ve been able to move ahead three spaces. Sometimes I have had to go to “jail”, not pass “go,” or collect my $200. Do you think I liked that? No, I did not. I wanted to gripe and complain and say, “That’s not fair; it’s not supposed to work that way?” But, I did it anyways, because that’s how you play the game.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying, that there is a great big player up there who rolls the dice, or spins the wheel or turns over a card and that’s it, that’s what makes the game go. I found out that it’s not all about ME and MY ministry, it’s not what MY life can do for others, it’s not whether or not I want to serve. It’s about Him, it’s about what He wants, and it’s about how can I best serve Him.
When we get right down to the brass tacks, what I’m saying is this: sometimes life is full of Risks; sometimes it takes some Strategy to get through it. Occasionally, I may often feel like I have a Monopoly in certain conditions in life; but it all boils down to the idea that life is just a Trivial Pursuit until I allow Him to have complete control of my life, to do what He thinks is best, to let Him lead me where He wants me to go; and, I have to follow Him without any reservations. Not so that I can do anything big for God, but so that others can see God through me.
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