By now, you have likely heard that Chicago lost its bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games to the city of Rio de Janiero, Brazil. Despite a special effort to pitch this by Oprah and even President Obama and his wife, the city of Chicago will not be hosting these games. Some may point to the game playing behind the scenes or even Chicago’s reputation of political corruption as the reasons. Regardless of why these games will not be played in Chicago, we had all better be thinking more about playing games and what games we may be playing….
Given that Halloween has been the second most profitable time of the year for retailers, much is emphasized to promote dressing up and playing the part of what is typically some spooky character. I have other thoughts about this which I will not detail here. You may wish to revisit my 10-30-08 Blog, “What are Your Masks?” Aside from the special promotion of Holidays like Halloween, one of the other most popular and profitable areas for retailers and businesses involves the Gaming Industry. What child or teen today has not had at least some exposure to video or computer games? If not careful, these games can even come to consume a person’s time and life. Adults enjoy games too and many are turning more to the gambling of gaming at casinos. Lotteries are growing in influence and expanding to areas where before they were adamantly resisted. There is much financial profit in promoting games.
Looking at this even more broadly, you can see this propensity toward game playing evidenced in the growing popularity of sports. Many children participate is some school sport and high school and college sports are highly promoted and followed. Just consider how the weekly time from Friday night through Sunday is most often dominated by the promotion, playing and analysis of various sporting events. There is a phenomenal growth in games and sports and this is evidenced on television, on the radio and on the Internet. Taking it even further, many consider their business practices more like a game to play than a service to perform. In fact, philosophically speaking, many look at all of life as merely the playing out of some celestial game.
There is certainly a lot of good that can come through playing games. The value of learning discipline and control and seeing the achievement of goals, as well as the collective effort of working as a team are all benefits of playing games. There are those downsides too. If you choose to look at life as a game, then I suggest you follow the rulebook of Scripture.
Consider the following related passages and even their greater contexts:
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.” I Corinthians 9:24-25
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, . . . .” Hebrews 12:1-2a
Friend, life is much more than a game! If you do see life as playing a game, then be certain that you are on the winning team and playing to help the team win. We will prevail! 😉