I don’t like to lose. Just ask my husband, or for that matter, just ask my son. Okay, just take my word for it.
Yesterday we decided to play a mild-mannered friendly little board game – The Game of Life. Remember that one? Well, this is an updated electronic version, with Visa cards and everything. You get your own personal credit card and every time your turn comes around, you place it in the electronic LIFEpod. It automatically calculates your salary and LIFE points, based on spaces you land on and cards you pick.
Well, today, (and just about every other time we play) Sam ruled. I was conservative, picked a decent career, got a degree, and sucked swamp water by the end of the game. Seemed like every card I picked up was something about dancing. Let’s just say this…dancing and writing don’t pay!
Sam picked a career in sports…yes, sports and ended up with a $2,000,000 annual salary and $9,196,000 cash. He was laughing at, no…
…more like mocking his mother by the end. Steve was somewhere in between. What really killed Steve was his five babies. He was a baby-making machine! Those babies cost him a lot of money and didn’t give him enough LIFE points to make up the difference.
I’m trying not to be a sore loser, but I’ve lived over 40 years (not saying how many years over,), have a lot of life experience and am relatively intelligent. Sam, on the other hand, is twelve! What is a twelve-year-old going to do with a three million dollar salary and a mansion? It’s just not fair. LIFE stinks.
This was just a game, and I’m
over it now getting over it now, but the fact of the matter is …
sometimes real life stinks too. This past week will not go down in the annals of history as “the best week ever” for me. I was so overwhelmed that I didn’t know what to write. I was hurting, confused and struggling to make sense of it all. I realize I’m not going to “Find a winning lottery ticket on the street +$100,000” or “Be chosen as the cover model for my favorite magazine +$500,000”, but I would like to catch a break now and then.
Although the week had a lousy start, something happened on the weekend that changed my perspective. No, it wasn’t playing a game with my guys, or even the fun birthday party at the beach. The thing that changed my perspective was this…God spoke to me. Now, before you think, “she’s really lost it – she’s hearing voices!”, hear me out.
I chose to worship with other believers on Sunday. I really just wanted to stay at home, curl up with a book and a pot of coffee and hibernate. It’s hard to put on that fake plastic smile, shake hands and play the role of “good Christian”, when I feel like I’m anything but “good” and I have no answers.
Here is where that beautiful, mysterious thing called “faith” becomes real and tangible. I cannot base my relationships (with family, friends, the church or God), upon how I am feeling or what it is that I want to do. So, I chose community over isolation and found God there and heard His voice.
I heard it in the warm hellos from the friends that greeted me. I heard it in the sweet words of encouragement from my dear friend Deborah. I heard it in the beautiful worship music that spoke healing to my heart. But most of all, I heard it in the message that my pastor gave…just for me. I know there were a lot of other people in that room. Some of them may have even had the mistaken notion that the message was for them.
When my pastor said the words, “He hears our heart cry, so go ahead and cry”, he meant me. When he read the words in Jeremiah 31:3, he was reading them for me. “God told them, “I’ve never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love!””.
Yes! God loves me, cares about me and wants to spend time with me! What an incredible, beautiful thought. When I’m tired, cranky, mean, hurting, happy, loving…whatever state of mind I may be in. I can choose to accept his love, or choose to reject it. Today, I am choosing God’s love for me, and passing it along to you. Accept it as the gift that it is and, in turn, share it with someone else!