Milton Bradley has prospered financially and built an enduring reputation on the board game ‘Life’. Players of all ages have glimpsed life differently and battled through the ups and downs of wealth and poverty. With a roll of the dice players experience how quickly life can change.
In the age of spinoffs and movie sequels, I have a new version of the famous board game. I call it Challenge – The Game of Life.
Challenge is played in teams. So I need everyone to join a team. Teams can vary but today there are four: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and all other miscellaneous flavors. I need each of you to gather around your favorite ice cream flavor.
We can’t start playing until everyone has chosen their team.
To succeed in Challenge you must acquire a wealth of gratitude. The Game of Life constantly presents you with big and small challenges. Gratitude will come in handy when you draw the Challenge card “No clean spoons for ice cream.” It seems difficult to associate gratitude with the likes of substance abuse, a failing grade or deep sorrow. But a stock pile of gratitude will come in handy for paltry and devastating matters. Gratitude can illuminate a path through each dark challenge that comes your way. Gratitude lets you eat ice cream with a fork.
Challenge can turn ugly when you resolve issues with patterns of old behavior supported by fear, righteousness and bitterness. When you are faced with overwhelming circumstances it may seem as if there is no way out. You may feel isolated or abandoned. It is at this point that you must remember the first rule of the game: you are not alone. Look around you. You are in the company of other people just like you. People you have something in common with – you all like the same ice cream. You may not have all the same interests. You may not know the person next to you. You may be surprised that you share a common passion. But when it comes to winning the game of Challenge you will excel around the board and overcome obstacles if you appreciate and accept the support, wisdom and experience of your teammates.
As I said earlier teams can vary. Choose a team that suits you. They come in many flavors: mentors, counselors, support groups, sponsors, friends, coaches, clergy, parents or teachers. Teams will vary according to the challenges you face in life.
One team in life that excels in the face of challenge is Alcoholics Anonymous. Their wisdom and support are written down in what is commonly known as the “12 Steps”. The first three steps are simplified in the phrase, “I can’t, He can, I’ll let Him.”
When Jesus sent his disciples out to preach he sent them in pairs knowing the challenge would be too great for one person to handle alone.
So, the next time you are overwhelmed by challenge in life, pause before you make a move and lose the game. Look around, get some ice cream and remember that you are not alone.
Challenge has a way of bringing people together. Being together is something for which we can be very grateful. Together we can conquer Challenge.
http://www.ring4peace.org #bRinging_peace and people together in a challenging world