Games We Play
A while back, my friend Jay told the story of something his wife Jackie overheard at a football game she was at. It seems a dad had come to the game with his daughter and quickly became frustrated with her because while he was sitting in the stands cheering and rooting for her school’s team, his daughter was walking around and visiting with her friends and doing all those things that the girls did when we were in high school. To him, she was doing everything but watching the game and this frustrated him because after all, that is what they were there for. At some point, he verbalized out loud his disappointment that his daughter was not there with him or even watching the game where she was. This is when a lady that heard what he was saying said something that just might change the world. She said, “There is more than one game going on”…”There is more than one game going on”…She hit the nail so on the head with that statement as nothing could have been more true.
To the dad, his daughter was not doing anything right because he had this time all figured out in his mind how it should go. He had expectations that his daughter knew nothing about or really wanted to know about if he had wanted to tell her. You see, she had plans too just like her dad did and the plans were worlds apart from each other. His plan was about watching the game and supporting her school team and hers was about being with her friends and maybe getting a chance talk to that cute new boy that just transferred to her school. The fact that she had no idea what the score to the game was really did not matter to her at all.
The dad and daughter were truly in two different games and neither of their games were wrong or right, they just had a different focus. His experience, her experience, the players, the referees, the cheerleaders, the people selling food, everyone there doing all their separate things were truly the whole experience of the event going on that night. All of them had a part in it and all of them put together made it whole and complete and what it was. Together, all functioning separately to make up the whole picture were the whole shebang so to speak.
Sometimes I think our lives can work exactly like this. We are all in our game and running our plays and planning our strategies and the world is good. Then we notice that someone that we think should be following our plan does not appear to be following our plan. It can be our kids or our spouse or our boss our mailman or our dog…or…(no, don’t say it)…it can be our God. *say it isn’t so*
Sometimes we can get so wrapped up in our game that we can become short sighted living in our own little world that we quit looking outside our game and we fail see that there are games going on all around us. That most things have very little to do with just us and that God is involved with all kinds of people all over the world playing all kinds of different games for His glory and our benefit.
Sometimes we can get so wrapped up in our game, we can get so comfortable with it, how we have “always” done something or what “always” works best from our experience that we don’t even want the Creator of every good thing to mess it up. We foolishly think that we can put our perfect game in a perfect box and then try to fit God in there to? Ok God, I made the perfect spot for you right over there. We think we can get God to join our plan rather than us joining in one of His. We choose safety, security and the familiar over the very adventure God has for us that would set our hearts on fire like we have never experienced before. And with that choice we set the boundaries and limits on how far we allow God to take us. At that point our free will becomes a fence we built around us and from that point on we look on from there at what could have been.
And there God stands on the outside our box, on the other side of our fence and calls us to something bigger and maybe a little dangerous while we sit inside the box, inside our fence and ask Him to be something smaller and safer. And then we wonder why we are lacking fulfillment… lacking joy…lacking peace…lacking life…lacking a backbone…simply lacking. And then who do we blame when that abundant life we are promised is just not there? What excuses do we find, what reasons do we give?
There is truly more than one game going on. We are just a small, small part of all that God is doing…just a bead on a huge beautiful necklace that God is threading together. Even better, we are one speck of sand on a huge beach God has made with each and every one of us. As a single piece of sand we are almost useless but together in his perfect design, we are the beach. On our own, we are a drop of salty water…together we are the beautiful ocean. You see, we are the body of Christ and each and every one of us goes together in a way we will not fully see until we are on the other side of eternity. We are the beautiful bride of Christ and He has called us to something that is really beyond our imagination. He has called us to something huge and something that requires us all to walk and work together for His glory and put aside our petty differences and selfish ambitions. He has called us to something that requires us to knock down our walls and tear down our fences and walk together, all of us, with Him, showing His great love and sacrifice to a lost world.
Oh God, if You could just open our eyes this very moment and show us that it is only “us” that is holding us back. If You could just show us clearly just how free You have set us. Oh Daddy, if we could only see that now, what a gift that would be.
David L. Wood 11/9-10/2010 (c)