Life Lesson #141 ~ Game Changers

"Be a game changer. The world is full of game players." ~ Hugh Jackman

What I know about the game of life is that it's mostly a hot mess. I mean an absolute hotter than all get out kind of hot mess. Way too many players and not enough game changers in my book. Standing on top of the winner's podium means nothing if you had to  cheat or find a loop hole around the rules to get there. Being a player in the game of life, not a game changer, well it just leaves you with the kind of hot mess our mama's warned us about. I'm talking the kind that pulls you under on a hot summer day  in a swamp full of gators and leaches. the kind of predicament that pretty much leaves you a hot, slimy, sweaty kind of mess with nothing to show for it but mud on your face. I don't know about you, but I've had my share of those kind of days, months and even years. Going back into that hot mess is nowhere in my vocabulary, that's for sure. You can call me late for lunch any time if  you'd like, but playing the game of life under the guise of snatching the trophy at all costs isn't how I want to move my pink car along the board. The truth we all know is life's complicated. It's nothing like the board game we all played as children. As for myself, and my husband, "We're not here to play the game. We're here to change it." See playing the game only leads to disappointment, hurt and temporary happiness. What I can tell you after almost 21 years of marriage and two kids, the game of life isn't about how well you play the game, but how determined you are to change it.

Change is one of the most important game changers we can ever land on. Having our lives shaken up, and rearranged can actually benefit us more than we know. "Change is hard at first. messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end." At least that's what Robin Sharma says anyway. But you know what, I believe her. I look back on the last 3 years of my life, and I can see how trying to win at the game, to conform to the world's idea of happiness eventually made a play at stealing it from me. Part of the problem is we have this idea of the American dream, the perfect family and an image we hold onto. A picture perfect view of what the ideal game of life looks like, that we forget how to actually play together, for one another as a team. We tend to forget we can actually change the game, and not out of spite or selfishness but out of mercy and kindness. Not one of us is perfect, we have all sinned, failed and lost our way but the truth is as Richard Sibbes states, "There is more mercy in Christ than sin in us." Maybe, just maybe, this is the game changer we need.

When I see the life God has afforded me, I am awe struck. Nothing about me or the life I lead is perfect. I have been hurt, and I have hurt those I love by my own actions.  God Himself knows what Johnny and I have been through. Nothing has come easy, and each step we have taken since then has been met with intent and the need to protect our family and one another from those players looking to knock us off the board. See what we went through, it was a game changer. And the truth is, as game changers we hold to a mind-set that propels us forward, not backwards. We're in this together understanding more than ever,"Sometimes in the winds of change we find our greatest direction." In that change Johnny and I have found our strength, and we've found mercy, forgiveness and a saving grace only God the author of this game of life could ever offer. Today, our focus isn't on coming in first place. The truth is we may cross the finish line last but that's fine and dandy by us. See finding  happiness is not our focus, being happy is. Our life together has purpose and meaning. We may be moving slowly but we're moving all the same and in the right direction. I love my husband, after all I've called him the love of my life since I met him all those years ago. The truth is even though some have tried, even as the world has moved to separate us, what God has joined together, no man can divide. I am his and he is mine. We are nothing short of imperfect and flawed any day of the week. Still forgiveness, mercy and unconditional love are among our greatest prizes. You see, "From his rib I was created to always stand by his side. Traveling with him around the curves, along life's often bumpy ride. I will forever support him hand in hand through everything. And just like in the game of chess, the Queen always protects her King."

Johnny and I do not hold onto the past, carrying it around like a burlap sack or a crown of pride on our heads. We aren't holding or breathe waiting for the shoe to drop and we're not tied up in convincing ourselves or anyone else for that matter of our happiness. I believe with all my heart we have come to understand, "People get lost when they think of happiness as a destination. We're always thinking that someday we'll be happy; we'll get that car or that job or the person in our lives that'll fix everything. But happiness is a mood, and it's a condition, not a destination. It's like being tired or hungry, it's not permanent. It comes and goes, and that's OK. And I feel like if people thought of it that way, they'd find happiness more often." (One Tree Hill) And this is exactly why I needed to write, Life Lesson #141 ~ Game Changers...because being a player of the game, grabbing the brass ring and taking the winner's podium only leads to temporary happiness. On the other hand, being a game changer, well it opens a whole new mind set when it comes to being happy. So yes, Johnny and I have become game changers in this great big game of life. Not out of entitlement or self declaration but simply because we believe what Beth Moore does, "Faith is a game changer'. What we have now as a family, as a couple is faith in each other, in our life together and in the One who is ultimately the game changer in our lives, Jesus Christ. As Psalms 119:30 says, "I have chosen the life of faithfulness." And in those simple but powerful words,  we have become a family of game changers.

After all who really wants to end up in a hot, slimy swamp with mud on their face, looking like a hot mess? Just remember in this game of life, as you're fighting everyone else for the winner's rights, "You're only one decision away from a totally different life." ~Anonymous



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