The Game-Changer Why Every Player Matteris in Your Life

When I was a kid, I thoroughly enjoyed playing video games. I know I’m dating myself when I say this, but I remember how excited I was when we got a Sega Genesis. I remember playing video games with my dad. We always turned it into a competition. I thrived off the challenge of trying to make it to the next level the fastest and ultimately win the game.

I don’t play video games anymore, but occasionally, I hit up the arcades with my mom. I still have that competitive spirit that I had as a kid. It’s a good thing I do because I never realized how much life is like a video game. 

We want to win, but there are so many obstacles in the way keeping us from getting to the next level. During the game, there are characters we encounter that are there to help or deter us from finding the trail that will ultimately lead to our ability to successfully win the game. Yet, every last one of these players–good and bad–serves their purpose in helping us improve our skills to become better players.

Throughout my game, I’ve encountered liars, thieves, and hypocrites who appear out of nowhere. Their sole purpose in being in my game is to wreak havoc in my life. They set landmines throughout my game, hoping that I’ll step on one and either seriously injure myself or, worse, die. These folks have no desire to see me shine.  My ability to successfully navigate the game reminds them of their shortcomings. Sadly, due to being naive and not seeking Christ’s guidance first, I’ve stepped on more than my fair share of these landmines. 


Sometimes, I was stuck in certain parts of the game longer than I cared to be there. God will delay our ability to continue to play the game for various reasons. Looking back on those moments, I realize it was always necessary. God has and always will have more than one purpose that He wants to accomplish in the difficult situations we encounter. 

Some of those situations are created because of our poor choices. We didn’t swing our sword of the spirit or allowed our helmet of salvation to be knocked off by our opponent.  Or, in some situations, we’re affected by the consequences of someone else’s actions. They went left instead of right, and their decision caused a rock you weren’t expecting to fall off a cliff, which is now directly within your path, blocking your ability to move forward.


Often, God will leverage the actions of evil people combined with our less-than-ideal circumstances as a stepping stone to demonstrate to the demons God wants us to fight and to the other players in our game that evil never wins if we keep Christ first. Regardless, we won’t be able to move on until we conquer those demons. 


We need to stay in faith, be patient, and keep fighting.  The length of time of our battle is determined by how quickly we learn our lesson and accomplish the goal God set before us. We must remember that regardless of how complex and intense our battle is, God will always provide a way to escape.


Many people give up, but if your goal is to win, you will do what it takes to look for the signs and collect as much knowledge as possible throughout the game because they serve as shortcuts to the next level. Unfortunately, although signs and knowledge exist, our opponent goes out of their way to hide them from our view. Being the good God He is, God has additional players placed throughout the game to encourage, guide, and help us move forward. 


I will take advantage of this extra help. Having loved ones alongside me during my journey gives me that second wind I need to push through when I want to give up or feel weak. They yell, “Look out,” when they see a fiery dart headed my way or give me that extra push so I can climb over the obstacles.  Having loved ones places me in an even better position to gain the knowledge I need to reach the next level. Knowledge is the key to winning the game. It allows you to skip over some obstacles and sometimes even levels.


 I’m 41. Lord willing, I’ve got some more levels to go through before my game is done. I aim to take advantage of all the shortcuts I see and help as many people as possible make it to the next level with me, but not at my expense. I keep my head on a swivel and soldier on through my game, taking breaks when needed, seeking signs and attaining knowledge along the way, embracing the encouragement from loved ones playing alongside me, and paying it forward by blazing a trail so bright that the players who play after me will take advantage of the shortcuts I left behind.


Some levels are more complicated to pass than others. Yet, regardless of how long it may take me to finish, I take comfort in knowing that my reward is a crown of righteousness. If you don’t feel that you can say the same, what changes will you make when you play so you can win your game?

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