This life is most definitely not a game. However, I am slightly amused when listening to the kids playing the familiar game with the three-dimensional gameboard (that I’ve always loved).
“Alexander didn’t have any kids!”
“I’m an artist!”
“I make $160,000!”
The game is fun, introduces mortgages, taxes, insurance, etc. There are elements of life in the game. But not everything.
Where are the homeless? Where’s the “gotta-have-two-jobs” card? Where’s the NSF spot and can’t-spend-a-dime-till-payday spot? Where’s the family barbecue and the birthday parties? Where’s the comfort, sorrow, and extreme joy? Where’s church services and dinner parties? Where’s all the stuff that makes life LIFE?
That’s why it’s only a game. Our lives, in contrast, are not determined with a clicking spin of the wheel. We make choices, meet consequences, revel in surprises and learn at every bend in the road. Fortunately, we’re not stuck in a plastic car (at least not all the time!), and there are oh-so-many paths to choose from and to discover.
Even when it seems like the chips are down, there is entirely too much in this life to radiate light and joy. There is too much to love. This is good to remember this summer vacation, and if I let the kids push me to the edge, maybe I’ll get the game out to remind me that my life is so much better than I think it is.
* I was looking for a stock photo of the board game to insert in this post since it’s been a while since any photos. I found one — a perfect one. It’s too perfect for me even to borrow. I want you to take the time to go look at it. Context clues tell me that it’s a child who just received a gift from an Angel Tree program or a similar goodwill charity (just saw that the title says it IS Angel Tree, at an Episcopal church neighboring our diocese). But to me, the eyes of the child and the happy-go-lucky box contrast vividly. The depth of my reality just increased; the compassion in my heart expanded further than I anticipated this morning. My thanks to this child. May gratitude fill my day, my life, and may all blessings be his.