The Game of Life
There is a very popular game in Nashville called The Escape. You may have seen the bumper stickers around town that boast, “I Escaped!” A team of eight are locked in a room filled with hidden clues. To win the game your team has to solve the clues and make it through all the rooms in under one hour. Every game is unique and with its own set of clues and challenges. Some clues are hidden in plain sight, others are more subtle and require effort to decipher. You are allowed to call out to an unseen advisor for three additional clues if you get stuck. The best players keep their cool under pressure, lean on the gifts and knowledge of their fellow players and have a talent for seeing how the clues fit into the larger picture.
The real game of life is not unlike “The Escape.” God sends us to earth and breath after breath, year after year, it is our job to decode the clues and solve the puzzle of who we are, who God is and what we are meant to do here. God speaks to us throughout our lives. It requires spiritual perspicacity to mine our lives for its deeper purpose and meaning. Clues are tucked inside our hopes and dreams as well as in our fears and losses. God is fond of “living clues.” Every person who is placed in your path holds a message. Looking back through the rearview mirror of my own life there have been a few “earth angels” who have arrived on cue when I was stuck and in need of direction. But God has also left me signs in my challenging relationships and in passing encounters with strangers. Clues materialize in kisses, salty tears, broken hearts, achievements and setbacks. I try not to be afraid of the clues that stump me, make me angry or doubt in God’s benevolence. The poet Rumi said you must believe that life is and will always be rigged in your favor. Here is the linchpin to the whole game of life. Those who believe in faith that they have already won the game, approach life with curiosity instead of fear. They have this enviable “divine” self-confidence. Instead of allowing life’s obstacles to shut them down, they figure out how God is using them to open the next door. They are humble enough to know when they need to call out to God for a clue and they never, under any circumstances, let go of hope.
Like any good adventure, the “life game” was designed for joy. Yes, it will call on strengths that you never knew you had. You’ll probably suffer some skinned knees and have to prove you can forgive before certain doors open for you. There will be seasons where you’ll find yourself trying to help another win his or her game instead of focusing on your own game. My best advice is to rely on the intuition of your soul. Spend the bulk of your time looking for clues that spell love. They will open doors you never conceived possible for your life. And never forget, God designed the game….so it has to be good.
It is a game-changer when you start putting together the clues and begin to see the big Dream God dreamed for your special life. The awe of it will take your breath away.
The object of the “life game” is not to escape but to participate so completely (in mind, body and spirit) that when the bell rings and the game is over you are love-spent and Mission Accomplished is emblazoned on your winning bumper sticker.
Live in hope,