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  • Pastor Linda Settles

The Game of Life

There was a board game that we used to play as children. It was called The Game of Life, later shortened to just Life. Each person had their own little car that they pushed down a track. Along the track were many of life’s major decisions such as marriage, college, buying a house, having children, etc. In the board game of Life, decisions were made with the spin of a wheel. If you spin the right combinations of numbers, life will go well for you. But at any given moment, you could spin and find yourself bankrupt!


Moving through this human life is like moving along that track – there are so many twists and turns, right and wrong ways that we can go. One day we’re on top of the world and the next day the world is on top of us. What is a human to do?


Over the past week, we have seen this human condition played out at the Olympics. When one person feels the weight of the whole Olympics on their shoulders, life can take unexpected turns with vastly different results. Humans were not built to bear the weight of the world, or even the weight of our own lives. Hear the words of Jesus:


“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30, NRSV

Being fully human, the person that God created us to be requires focus and commitment. First, we have to come to Jesus for rest. Did you know that you can get eight hours of sleep and wake up tired? There is a resting in God that has nothing to do with sleep. But if our focus is off, we’ll stay on the treadmill of life.


We also have to commit to surrendering the burdens and weight borne from our own striving to the Lord. You’ll be amazed at how light you will feel, how energized. Ready to run like Forrest Gump!


Oh, we may be on this track of life, but we are not subject to the spinning of wheels or the rolling of dice, or any card that comes from a deck. No, we are in the arena of Olympians – from Abraham to David and all of the saints since then. Every spiritual muscle toned; every sinew ready to be engaged for the cause of the One who died for us…


Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely,[a] and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of[b] the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat

at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews 12:1-2


So run, saints, run! Not for a medal, but for “the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:8, NRSV


Join us this Sunday as we begin a new sermon series: Push Play. This week we’ll talk about the Game of Life. To register for worship, you can sign up at https://rsvp.church/r/gVufUAP4 . You can also join us online at 10:00am. For online worship go to www.umcgt.org.


In light of the revised CDC recommendations, and the St. Louis County mask mandate, we will return to wearing masks in the church building, whether you are vaccinated or not. I know that we have become very comfortable without them, but in an effort to love our neighbors who may be unvaccinated, immune-compromised, children, or otherwise at risk, we will wear our masks out of compassion. And again, if you are not feeling well, we trust that you will worship with us online.


One day this game of life will be over, and it will all go back in the box (that’s another sermon!). Until then, may we live into our vision of growing healthy relationships with God, our neighbors, and one another!


Blessings,

Pastor Linda

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