To grow up in my family meant to be fiercely competitive when it came to games. Some of my fondest memories are of staying up until 3:00 A.M. trying to take over the world — on the game board of Risk.
My mother and grandmother were no exceptions either. They played the meanest, and I do mean meanest, game of Scrabble you ever experienced.
I am hopelessly no different.
I love to play board games. And I play to win. (Just ask my kids.)
So whenever board games go on sale at Target, I stock up. Recently, I bought a game I remember playing as a kid: The Game of L.I.F.E.
But when I opened the box and read the directions, I was startled. I had forgotten so much of the game. To get started, you choose “career” or “college.” Then you buy a house. Invest in stocks. Get married. Have babies. And don’t forget to pay your taxes once a year.
Basically, whoever retires with the most money wins!
I’m pretty sure Jeff and I started our marriage with a similar game plan. But something happened along the way. The things that were once important to us were no longer as important.
Buying a bigger house. Upgrading to a fancier car. Filling our lives with things.
More things. Nicer things. The kinds of things you can impress people with.
But the thing we discovered most is that it’s not real. Not any of it.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with owning nice things. As long as those things don’t own us. But using things as a way to measure ourselves with others perpetuates a false identity. And it’s not the identity we want.
A number of years ago, Jeff and I made a decision: When people think of us, we don’t want our things to be the first thing they think of. We want people to know us. The real us.
We try to stay ever-mindful of what is most real: This life is not our home. We’re on a journey. Towards a destination. A real one.
Do you remember “The Game of L.I.F.E.”?
“What is your life?
You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”
~ James 4:14
Today, I’m joining Lisa-Jo, taking 5 minutes to write about “real.”
Looking up verse: 2 minutes
Writing this post: 5 minutes
Uploading photos and links: 9 minutes
Spending Fridays with you: Priceless