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

TITLE: Life Cycling, Not Back Pedaling
By Linda Germain


Like the constant lapping of an oceanís waves, life rolls in and out, in and out, with a mysterious rhythm-- predictable, yet so hard for our finite minds to process.

Generation after generation appears, makes a mark or a mess, and then helplessly fades away for the next group to take its place. There is no escape from the cycle. It cannot be broken.

In reality, if we could leap from the life-train and grow no older, we would be miserable. Each new group plows into adulthood with its own kinds of music and morals, fashion and language. The only choice is to stay on track and ride it to our personal destination. Instead of fighting the schedule, it might be easier if we just enjoy the trip, and then make sure we are prepared to disembark for the best part of the journey.

Derogatory remarks aimed at elderly citizens sometimes amuse me; other times cause righteous indignation to rise up and explode. I am known to speak to a television that is blasting forth ridiculous notions about the insignificance of the ones who have been on the life track the longest, as if we were born and lived our whole lives in the stage-of-age closest to natural death. Those whippersnappers make me sick with that egotistical world view. Iíd stomp my foot, but I might fall over and couldnít get up.

ďYouíll see, sooner than you think,Ē I yell at the screen. ďOne minute youíre dancing and flying high, but you just wait my dears, in what seems like a nano-second, youíll be shuffling offÖand it wonít be to Buffalo.Ē I know they canít hear me, but it makes me feel like Iíve said my piece.

People treat me like Iím an idiot just because my hair is white. They go ga-ga over the silly fact that I have managed to hang on, and they make big plans for a 100th birthday celebration. Harrumph! Who needs presents and sugary cake at my age? I think itís more for the youngsters who are mesmerized by a relic who remembers not having a telephone, or television, or tele-anything. Itís like Iím from outer space; a place, in my wizened opinion, they more likely were spawned.

Each new batch of human-racers start from zero, are conceived and born, grow through all the ages, and absorb truth in various ways. Facing the inevitable end-of- the line is something way too many refuse to factor into their in-valid equations.

It takes some humans a lifetime of playing the game to finally stop and reflect on the real rules Ė not the ones they made up, or took for granted because loud voices convinced them wrongly.

Believing we donít transfer at the end of earthís journey leaves us with no ticket to a big reward. With some weary voyagers, itís naÔve thinking. With others itís determination to cling to deeply flawed philosophies that offer no real hope. I call it stubbornness.

Those of us who are nearly finished with our life trips, who have played the game on every conceivable level, have lots of advice and tips, but because we have grown weaker, no one seems to think our experience has anything to offer. Iím old. I have earned the privilege to shout the TRUTH if I want to. Itís all so simple and boils down to just a few things.

The Game of Life is played on a constant journey to its end. Just like the ocean, humans flow in and humans flow out. It can never be stopped. The main thing is to realize that someday, maybe even today, some of us will have reached the cycling out phase and must be prepared for the next partÖbecause, dear ones, make no mistake about it, there IS a next part!

We may not know when the game will be over, but we can know for sure that God created us. He sent His Son to redeem us from our foolishness and sin. If we accept Him as our Savior and Guide and give Him glory and honor and, like my grandmother always admonished, act like somebody with good sense, the best is yet to come.

And that, I am happy to report, is all I have to say about that. You know the rules. Pray by Ďem.

There is an all aboard being shouted in the distance. I donít want to miss my final connection. Carry on, fellow travelersÖcarry on.

*waving *smiling *dancing


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Member Comments
Member Date
Kristen Hester09/19/08
This is my favorite part:
Those whippersnappers make me sick with that egotistical world view. Iíd stomp my foot, but I might fall over and couldnít get up.

I didn't mean to, but I kept picturing Andy Rooney as I read this. This is very insightful. We should value the older generation...we will (By God's grace) be one of them on day. Good Job!
Dee Yoder 09/19/08
This message came home to me loud and clear when I was involved in a church where 90% of the members were 30 and under...their lack of respect for what we "old-timers" (just hitting 50!) knew was pitiable. And I thought the same thing: one day, this will be you. ( : (Faster than they think, too!)
Verna Cole Mitchell 09/22/08
I enjoyed the humor underlying your entry. It just curls my straight hair to hear or read that an elderly person, age 60... I just shuffle off to "not Buffalo" with you.
Peter Stone10/02/08
Loved the dry humor, especially this line: Iíd stomp my foot, but I might fall over and couldnít get up.