My son is now at an age where he enjoys playing games. We play War, Go Fish, Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, Monopoly Jr and our latest addition, Blokus. To say he is competitive is an understatement. The kid plays to win. And he does not like to lose. This should be no surprise, he was born of gaming genes. My dad, my siblings, aunts, uncles and grandparents are/were all gamers. It is in our genes, our very DNA has a code somewhere that screams GAMER. The more I thought about it recently the more I realized how God is rewiring me.
Any of you that have known me for any length of time know, I love to play games. Any kind of game. Word, board, strategy, card; if it is a game chances are I like to play it. Along with this comes a competitive nature. Competitive to the core. I recall one New Year's Eve playing the game of Risk with 5 guys. I was kicking booty. Along with the success came trash talk and belittling of those at the table. Calling them boys and such. I recall it really rubbing one of the guys the wrong way. The reality was he was also competitive. So we clashed. I ran the game and ended up conquering the world that night. Yeah me! A boost to my already proud gaming mind.
Truth. I excel at games. They come natural to me and so I often cream the competition whether I intend to or not. Truth. I have not always been gracious in my winning. Truth. God is doing a work in me in this very area.
I did not realize it at first. Then I went camping this summer with all of my family, aunts, uncles, siblings; the whole kit-n-kaboodle. This has always been a time for me to enjoy some true competition and game to my hearts content. It was near the end of the week when I realized it. I had not played A SINGLE GAME, the entire week. With the exception of calling Bingo numbers for the family bingo, I had not played any games. At first I was completely surprised by this. Me gamers of all gamers had not played a game in peek game playing territory! What was up? Then the Lord showed me he was doing a work. He had taken the competitive must win attitude from me. The one that has potential to destroy relationships. I still enjoy games, don't get me wrong. I love a good game. But my attitude has changed. I want to see others excel. I want to enjoy the fellowship as much as the engaging of my mind. My current favorite game is Apples to Apples, that's about as uncompetitive as you can get when it comes to group games. I love the laughs that come with it as people interact.
I think the Lord has taken the competitive nature and shown me how to rechannel it into passion. Right now there are many things I am passionate about. Games is not one of them.
I have to smile when I watch my son. I know what drives him. He reminds me of how I used to be. Maybe it won't take him as long to figure out how to be a gracious winner or a non-pouting loser. I pray he can grasp those things early on. I am thankful I finally got it into my head and my heart. Winning is not everything. But living passionately for the Lord IS!