Quitting the Game Called L.I.F.E {In Favor of Something More REAL}

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!

It sounds a lot like real life.

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

9 thoughts on “Quitting the Game Called L.I.F.E {In Favor of Something More REAL}

  1. Oh yes, I remember playing LIFE when I was a kid! Often my friend and I would play however we wanted, ignoring many (more like most) of the rules, and “life” was a lot less stressful. LOL

    The real eye-opener for me was when I realized that all the stuff and things in our lives can easily become idols. Like you said, it’s not wrong to have nice things, as long as they don’t own us. When our lives start revolving around these things is when we’re heading down a dangerous path. Blessings Denise!

    • Oh, Laura, you are so right! All “the stuff and things in our lives can easily become idols.” So true! It’s something I need to remind myself of every once in a while, or else I can find myself heading down that familiar path!

      Blessings, my friend. 🙂

  2. Loved your post! (And I’m a ridiculously competitive game player, too!)

    What a great realization and change you and your husband came to – and what a great way to want to be remembered.

    Thanks for sharing!

      • I had to laugh at your mention about how competitive your grandma was. Mine is still the same way! I joke with friends that she plays for blood, and they’re all shocked. “Your sweet little Grandma?” Oh yes! Ha ha!

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