I recently stopped by Wal-Mart to pick up a few items, and after I returned to my car, I noticed two young girls, maybe third and fifth graders, approaching the car parked next to me. Walking about fifty feet in front of their mom, who had a cart full of packages, I could tell they were very excited because they were carrying a new board game. You remember how it was when you were a kid and you got a new game or toy and you couldn’t wait to get home to play it.
Well, as they were getting into the car I noticed the game they bought was the “Game of Life.” As I began to reflect on their sense of excitement about their new game, I could only imagine how happy they were hoping this game would make them feel. Then another thought entered my mind, I wondered how many times they would play their game before it became just another game among the stack of games they already have—would they be able to make it to Christmas before they asked for another new game.
As I continued to reflect on the experience, I realized how often I have been like those girls in my life. I can remember the excitement of driving my first car home. I was so happy…but it wasn’t long before I began thinking about another car. I can remember my first job, I was so excited and happy…but it wasn’t long before I began thinking about what it would be like to work for someone else. And then I can remember my first girl friend, I was so excited, she seemed so special, but then it wasn’t long… before she began thinking about what it would be like to date someone else (yes, she dumped me).
Life seems to be full of those experiences, doesn’t it? You buy something, or you find that perfect job, you hope will make you happy. You fall in love with that perfect person and you can’t wait to get married because you know he/she will make you so happy. Or you take your little cuddly bundle of joy home, only to discover he/she won’t sleep and they keep needing to be fed and diapered—and you wish at the end of the day you could just put them in the toy box with all the other toys. Yes, how often the things we hope will bring happiness, leave us feeling empty.
This all led me to begin thinking about “my new life in Christ,” was it still everything I had hoped for. Am I experiencing the joy and peace and happiness that God intended? Have I become bored with my life, or am I feeling the excitement of being part of the bigger story that God is writing? As God’s story unfolds in my life, could I truly have been put on earth for such a time as this? And if I didn’t choose to become a follower of Jesus, but he was the one who chose me to bear fruit, am I bearing fruit that lasts?
May it be said of us that we are a people of God who are truly passionate and joyful about the gift of life. And having been called “to be a blessing in this world” (Genesis 12:1-4), may we never become weary of participating in God’s mission.
In it to win it,