Survivor! This Is No Game

What is the statistically best strategy for firing at your opponent in Battleship? How could you transform the rotating principle of the ubiquitous Rubik’s Cube into a board game? How do you create an intelligent computer program to play the childhood games of Tic-Tac-Toe or Sticks? Questions such as these along with a bookshelf filled with sundry games testify to the infectious drive my family possesses to obliterate challenges. But what happens when the barriers to be overcome are embedded in life itself?
Are we justified in viewing our lives as part of an enormous multi-dimensional game filled with rewards and perhaps unmitigated horrors resulting sometimes from calculated risks and at other moments from the odd throw of the dice? The 1980’s bumper sticker, “he who dies with the most toys wins,” would seem to indicate that some people might approach their life seeking winning strategies to be mastered, skills to be honed, and rewards to be stockpiled. Not only has the prevalent game of climbing the financial pyramid been practiced for years, but in recent years TV has focused a gaming spotlight upon a winning calculus involving relationships, physical ability, shrewdness and luck toward garnering a financial treasure.
While the metaphor of gaming as a description of what it means to be human might tickle our creative neurons exciting our imaginations, the hill of Golgotha shrouded in darkness re-centers our focus upon the nature of being human. To be human is no game. An evil enemy is intent on destroying us. Evil is committed to war, not a game. There is no restart button for the brief time we call life. God’s love expressed through his Son on the cross is all that stands between us and certain condemnation. This is no game. We have this moment to choose where our allegiance and hopes will be founded. When human life ends, those who are the “survivors” will have eternal life, not because of their efforts or skill, but because of grace effected through his death upon a cross.

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