Thursday, May 02, 2013
The Game Has Changed Me
“Outlast, outwit and outplay.”
The contestants on Survivor will often be heard to say, “The game has changed me. I will approach life more confidently now.” That’s the upside to any challenge whether we choose it or it’s given us to walk through. The pastor said last night that God wants perseverance not quick fixes and easy wins. It seems that in some way we should exult in both---especially as men.
If we are honest as men we will admit that we desire the battle. We are not satisfied in flesh or soul with status quo (though if status quo is the battle we will say we want rest and the quick fix). The bible is full of exhortations to delight in trials because of what they produce in us and because God has ordained them for His purpose. That is the deepest truth. As men we crave the test and long to be stretched.
The athletic men I know enroll in sporting events that stretch them; marathons, triathlons, Century bike rides and hiking expeditions all fulfill us as men. These are the battles we choose to stretch us within normal and safe limits. These feel controlled yet still outside our comfort zone. These are the games we choose to suffer in.
We don’t choose many battles that come to us in the scheme of normal life. We wrestle with issues as work, we struggle with our own infirmity. Even the smaller battles like finances and being a covering for our wife are struggles that stretch us. Greater ones will come down the pike as well, sickness, job loss and the death of those dearest us. These are difficult but ordained fights that God has us walk through to grow in confidence, dependence and fruitfulness.
The game will always change us whether we choose it or are placed down into it. The mental piece is to exult and find joy in the midst. As men there is a level in which just being in the battle should assure that life is worth living and living hard.