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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Game of Life (09/11/08)

TITLE: Whose Set of Rules?
By nicole wian


If life is a game, itís a game of strategy. And there are two sets of rules; those of the world and those that as a Christian we make a choice to follow. Itís easy at times to forget whose side youíre playing for, many people not necessarily switching teams but, at least at times, adhering to the other set of rules.

The game according to the world, claims to have fewer rules and easier directions. But if one plays for any length of time, they will find that this claim is deceptive. The first encounter with winners and losers for this game probably begins around school age. Suddenly, one sees that it is the elitists who govern, who seem to create these rules, which one could spend a lifetime trying to master. One must look a certain way, think a certain way, talk a certain way. The list goes on and on. There are of course, too, different variations on how it is played. There is the popularity game, the intellect game, the personality game. That list is just as long. And as the game continues, the rules become more complicated, lending themselves to greed and deception, monopolies and balderdash. Sorry, yell counterparts, as in a flash youíve been checkmated, but there is no sincerity in their words. The rules change according to player, feeling, mood and circumstance. There are no absolutes, which might lend the player to believe that there is a higher chance of winning, yet along the way, one quickly finds that with one miscalculation, they have been sent down a chute, steps behind where they once were, playing catch up with their opponent who scrambles ahead of them on the corporate ladder, maybe. It turns out thereís no team on this side at all, but rather every man is for himself. Winning and losing is not just what happens in the end, but happens all along the way, many feeling like losers before the game is finished, many feeling perpetually like the child shuffling his feet on the field waiting to be picked and humiliated when finally, he is standing alone, left with the knowledge that he wasnít wanted. Halfway through, itís common for players to ask themselves why they continue to play, what is the point of the game.

Yet, for one it does have a point. But the ultimate winner is never the player but the designer of the game. The one who governs the world.

The opposing set of rules are no easier to follow, perhaps but remarkably more simply laid out because they remain consistent. Players may just as easily find themselves, if having made a wrong move, a few steps behind, but the creator of this game desires winners, and so does His best to aid the players, even by lending a helping hand or hint along the way. There are no gotchas, no trick questions and plenty of get out of jail free cards to go around. Itís an entertaining game, overall, bringing joy to itís players even.
This is not to say there are not times, that even these players grow weary of the length, or sometimes wonder if maybe the other side might be more fun. But this game grows more exciting, more fulfilling, the longer the player hangs in there. And it is a game of knowledge. A game in which one gains knowledge, rather than is penalized for his lack thereof.

Everyone will eventually reach the finish of the game. It doesnít matter when they reach that finish what kind of job they had, what kind of house they lived in or how many blue and pink pegs ended up in their car. All that matters is which side theyíve played for.

Both teams will have players who have accumulated many points. But there is a team which will be sorry to find that though their points seemed to count along the way, they count for nothing in the end.

Because there is only one question asked at the end of the game, and the answer to that question is really all that matters. The game has been merely a preparation, but everyoneís been warned. And only those who have played for Godís team, will have the correct answer.

So, whose side are you playing for? And are you making sure to leave no one standing, last to be picked, as you are called on to choose your teammates?

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 09/18/08
I liked the contrast between the two sets of rules.

I'd suggest breaking the longer paragraphs into two or even three shorter ones, for great ease of readability.

The references to familiar gamepieces made this an enjoyable read.
Beth LaBuff 09/18/08
Your title and your first paragraph are so thought provoking, especially when the "rules" seem to be blurred in our day. :( I enjoyed your insertion of "monopolies" and "balderdash" into this. :) I like what you wrote about the "opposing set of rules" that "they remain consistent" and that the "Creator desires winners."