Saturday, October 5, 2013

Playing the Game of Life

 I was in Victoria shopping with my MGCC girl friends, and I stopped to rest.
Leaning over the railing, I looked down on a huge Monopoly game board painted on the floor below.
As I stood gazing down on it, watching people taking photos of each other on the board, my thoughts were inspired.

Some games have a short run of interest -  others, like Monopoly, survive from generation to generation.
I think the games that survive in popularity  are ones that most closely resemble aspects of the 'game' of  life.  Whether or not the connection is made, something about playing the game connects us to reality in a way that relieves the stress of it, at least for the duration of playing the board game.

I saw the corner block .. "Go to jail !"

 How often do we hear condemnation in the words of others -  sometimes intended , sometimes not --  sometimes deserved sometimes not.    In life just as in the game we dread hearing the words,  we try to avoid landing on that square.   We attempt to throw our dices so that they land face up with numbers favourable to us, yet how often where we land is beyond our control.

While people's words can be hurtful, how comforting to know that when we come to the Lord, He never says .. "go to jail" ..  but His words are inviting, comforting, edifying and strengthening.

"And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart for I am called by Your name , O Lord God of hosts. "  
Jer. 15:16

My attention was drawn to another square.

The command to 'go' .  From childhood on we are told where and when to go!   Someone else always has the control, it seems, to order our activities.   Someone always is ready to give advice on how we are to live, how we are to behave, how we are to act and react and how we are to plan and earn and spend.

As a child we look forward to being adults when  no one will have the right to tell  us to 'go' ...
As adults we look forward to retirement , thinking surely then no one will tell us to 'go' ..
But the truth is, we are never really free to do as we please, are we.
Someone once wisely said , "If you can't do what you like, then like what you do!"
So , then  the secret of life  is that while we are never 'free'  to do exactly as we would like , go where we want... we can however,  choose which voice we will listen to.

The only voice that will truly allow us to be free,  to be the best we can be .. to find contentment and joy in where we go ...  is of course the Voice of our Shepherd.
   My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.  John 10:27   
Isn't it nice when someone, instead of saying 'Go' , instead says .. "follow Me " ??

Ohhh ... the "Free Parking" corner-spot.
Is anything in life really 'free' ?

  The earliest known occurrence of the phrase "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch", is June 27,1948. 
It was the punch line to a joke in an article entitled "Economics in 8 Words". 
At that time you could still find 'free parking' ,  but as we girls experienced in Victoria, free parking is a thing of the past along with so many other things we need or desire.    
But the very best thing in life is  FREE and always will be. God has given the free gift of His Son through whom Salvation is freely offered to anyone who comes to Him.  He is our Cornerstone!  
  For the wages of sin is death, but the (free) gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. 
Rom. 6:23

The Community Chest square caught my eye, and I sadly noted that it was 'closed'. 
How often have we looked to community of this world for help -  monetary, physical, emotional support, friendship, protection --  but we found only a sign .. "closed'.   We were on our own.    
But in the true community of the Kingdom of God -- there is no closed sign . We have a heavenly treasure chest of supply that is always open. We can come any time to find what we need.  Help is always available.
"My God shall supply all your need, according to His riches    in glory by Jesus Christ !
Phil. 4:19 
  "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace,    that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need".  
Heb. 4:16

I remember the many, many times when we finally tired of the game, we put it all back in the box until the next time we pulled it out  to start a brand new game.  
Don't we sometimes wish that our life was like that ?   Some days wouldn't you just like to put it back in the box and start it again tomorrow?
But our life is like that monopoly game on the mall floor -- it is impossible to pack up. Our todays are built on yesterday and tomorrow is determined by how we live today.
And yet, there is something that is new each day, isn't there?
"Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning, Great is your faithfulness !"   
Lam. 3:22,23

How thankful I am that we are not 'consumed' by the failures of this world, but we have One who never fails and in Him we live and trust and have our being !