My eleven year old nephew ended up at our place for a sleepover and I remember waking up to this fuzzy haired boy on his second bowl of Lucky Charms, awaiting the adults to wake up so we could play.

We’d promised to play the Game of Life with him and he was stoked. And so he guzzled that sweetened milk and set us all up on the couch to play one of his favorite games. I’d never played before, but I’m up for all games, so I wasn’t concerned.

That is, I wasn’t concerned until I played for seven minutes. After which, I hated that game.

I can say that here because he’s eleven and doesn’t care to, nor is allowed to read internet blogs, but my goodness I hated that game.

Are you kidding me!? Pick up some cards, pay some bills, take out hundred thousand dollar loans to magically become a doctor and pay it off all in one lucky jump to a pay day? No. No, I just can’t.

I didn’t end up finishing the game. I let my brother in law come take my place while I grabbed a coffee and I never looked back. My nephew ended up with two sets of twins and a fifth kid after that. Not literally, just in the game, but I couldn’t handle it.

I’m imaginative, and yet everything here became so literal I couldn’t handle it. And maybe I couldn’t handle it because I’d been so discontent with how my life had been playing out. Combine that with our tendency to view other peoples lives by their highlight reel rather than the journey it took to get them from place to place, and I was heated. I didn’t get any loans I could pay off in one turn or become a doctor in my real life. I didn’t end up with twins, or any children. I hadn’t figured out what step to take next, never mind which path to choose. This game was getting to me because somehow, it’s what our society tells us is possible in the chase of a Great American Dream, and if it were true, than I was most certainly not somewhere great.

I have this funny feeling that the questions wrestling their way out of me is for a reason. I think it’s for cause. I have this feeling the places I’ve been have brought me to the place I’m standing at now. And if I’m really considerate, I’d see where I am now leads me to where I’m going.

I don’t have the answers. I just know I was meant for something. Not something great or big or famous. But just something that means something to me and has purpose for God. And I want to let Him lead me to that place, all the while knowing every step along the way in the journey is purposed too. I want to live right here in the moment, in such a way that I see purpose for the present while remaining excited for tomorrow. I’m not okay to allow wind to roll the dice and react to whatever random cards flip for my life. From what I’m hearing, you don’t want to live like this either. This time is short. This life is a little on the sacred side of things. Who wants to land haphazardly on a space with twins and a mortgage and live life like its just a game anyways? Ain’t nobody got time.

That’s the thing about treating life like’s it’s a game. We aren’t meant to watch everyone else makes their moves and hope we land the same luck, or avoid the bad moves they made. Life isn’t about waiting to see what luck rolls out for us. Life isn’t about reacting to what happens to us, but rather working out the kinks while we follow God’s lead for our life. Most of all, life isn’t a game at all. Oftentimes, we allow life to become just that: something we react to rather than something we co-create with God. We can only play life like a game for so long before we’re angry, frustrated, and annoyed.

My nephew was stoked about that game, but I most certainly was not. I’d realized in that seven short minutes of playing that I didn’t want life to be made up of chance and waiting around. I wanted in on something intentional. I think you do to. Take a look around to discover where you’ve been treating life like a game, and quit. Quit so you can get a hot cup of coffee, never look back, and start the real deal instead. Besides, life doesn’t offer a second round once the first round is over, so you’ll need to make the best of this life.

Okay. Your turn.