Explore My News,
Thoughts & Inspiration

It’s not a game

I try to keep my nerd level to a minimum, despite everyone knowing my dependency on Excel. I didn’t grow up playing video games and it was only this past Christmas when I learned how to play any other level besides the mall in Mario Kart. I grew up with computer games. Not just the big ones like Oregon Trail and Carmen Sandiego, but I learned how to play chess, spell all 50 states and their capitals, and how to type from computer games.

In high school I discovered Nancy Drew was not only a book series but a computer game series. They have a lot of them now (they just came out with the 32nd game) and I may or may not have played all of them… I enjoy the stories and the role I get to play, and the opportunity to try again when I accidentally kill Nancy. The most frustrating part of it, though, is when I can’t progress in the story like I think I should.

In these sorts of games, an action triggers the next step. So if I get stuck, there is a clue I haven’t discovered or a person I haven’t talked to yet. I used to spend hours trying to figure it out on my own, but now I search a discussion board or a cheat of the whole game online. Sometimes I wish life worked that way – if things get hard just find the cheat of how to do everything right, in the right order, and win.  But it’s not. 

During a morning quiet time, God and I were talking about life, and somehow computer games got brought up. I promise, this isn’t our usual path of conversation. But as we talked more, I realized that’s how I view life: If I’m not where I think I should be there is something more I’m supposed to do or learn.

I blamed my singleness on my lack of contentment or I search for that one thing I need to just let go of so that Mr. Right can talk to me. My revolving bad roommate situations were because I hadn’t scored enough life points to earn a good roommate. I blamed my lack of funding on a need to prayer more, because I hadn’t logged enough prayer hours or found the secret faith key. Saying it this way sounds silly, and it’s easy to point out why it’s wrong.

To know in my head and to believe in my heart are two different things, and sometimes it takes a lot longer for my heart to accept it as truth. This matters because we live out the truths our heart believes.

When I take something out, like this faulty truth, God replaces it with something better. He’s been showing me that it’s about a story, like what you share at a dinner table or what you pass on to your children and grandchildren. I’m not supposed to live like Hercules – required to pass a series of tests before I’m allowed to become a God. I’m supposed to live like Peter – following Jesus, messing up and still moving forward, proclaiming the Good News.

It’s quite freeing when that truth settles into your heart because the pressure is off. Life stops feeling like a maze you can’t escape and instead a journey with untapped potential and surprises along the way. The end goal changes and instead of struggling the whole way through you’re able to enjoy the process. 






This was the prayer I wrote in my journal that day. Feel free to use it for yourself.


God, I’ve treated you and my life like a game – do this and this and then you can move on to the next level. I act and think like a specific action needs to be triggered to move forward. And when I don’t I assume I am not good enough and there is something more I need to do to unlock the next step. I recognize this is not real life and not how you work. I lay down these untruths at the foot of the cross and walk away empty-handed.

I want to be caught up in your story and plan, not in the tiny world of me. Help me to see, help to hear, and help me to follow. Help me to hunger and thirst for more of you, and to take the opportunities with you instead of dismissing them.


  1. I got goosebumps!
    Thank you for sharing such powerful and life-changing thoughts. You are certainly blessed that he reveals his truths to you in such a gentle way.

Comments are closed.