Playing to Win


Do you remember the board game called, “The Game of Life?” The players wind through a number of different circumstances in “life,” and at the end of the game, the one with the most money wins...kind of like monopoly. But the “win” could be different. Last week my daughter skyped me and showed me the board game – I think it was “The Game of Life” -  she had been playing with Lili, my almost three year old granddaughter. She raved about how Lili could throw the dice and begin to count how many spaces to go. This was “the win” for Sarah and Lili! It had nothing to do with how much money they had at the end of the game. Theychanged the object of the game and with it what they focused on, their mindsets, what they worked for, and what they celebrated. And from what I saw, they were in a great place!

How about you? As the holidays fade into the rear view mirror and you get back into the full swing of the game of life, how are you doing? Do you feel like you’re winning? Or do you feel as if something is missing?...that you are somehow falling short of the win? As you look at the game of life you are playing, what is the object of your game? And how is it working for you?  What are you focusing on? What’s your mindset? What are you working toward? What are you celebrating?.....And how’s it all working for you? Would you say of yourself, “I’m in a great place!”...or something less?..

In the next few weeks we are going to focus on “Playing to Win” for each of us in the game of life. Interested?


Sunday, February 5th                              Eyes Up  (What Are Your Eyes On?)

One of the things that gets drilled into you by a running instructor –whether it’s sprints or long distance – is to get your eyes up and focus on where you are going. This keeps your energy pointed in the right direction as well as your body pointed in the right direction, not veering to the right or the left. What are your eyes on? And how’s it working for you? In your “game of life,” are you going in a straight line?...or do you keep veering this way or that?  Today, God shows us where to focus our eyes so we can “Play to Win!”


Sunday, February 12th                           Mind Set  (What Are You Working For?)

When I was 10 years old I wanted to play on a little league football team. The only problem was that I weighed 8 lbs. too much for my age group and they would not allow me to “play up” in the next age group. What did I do? Since I had a paper route and therefore my own money, I bought these Sego diet drinks and ate nothing but those drinks for lunch (my parents didn’t know) and very little for breakfast or dinner for a week. And when I was still a pound over on weigh-in day in the morning, I simply did not eat or drink anything until the afternoon weigh in. And yes, I made weight! (though I did see stars and almost pass out in the ensuing practice…) When one knows what they are working for, it makes a difference! Do you know what you’re working for? And is it enough? Today, God shows us what He, in His grace, would have us work for as we look to “Play to Win!”…And yes, it is always enough!


Sunday, February 19th                      Training Smart  (How Smart Are You Training?)

In High School, I had a terrible time putting on weight – which was pretty important, since I played football. When I got to college the weight coach told me (rather forcefully, as I remember) that I was training “way to much” and he cut down what I did and how I did it drastically….and presto-chango, I put on weight and got much faster and stronger. It matters how one trains. In this “game of life,” how are training yourself so that you can “win?” And how’s it working for you? Today, God, as the greatest coach ever, shows us how to train so that we might “win!” Interested?


Sunday, February 26th                               Tasting Victory  (It’s A Done Deal!)

“It’s so close, I can taste it!” Have you ever heard this expression?  Every football team runs “polish” with their offense the day before a game. There is no one lining up against them. The object is to run each play perfect. For many coaches, this includes practicing the celebration when they score. They want their players to geta foretaste of celebrating the victory so they know what they are playing for! -“It’s so close, I can taste it!” Today, in this game of life that each of us is in “to win,” this is the gift our loving God would give to us: to taste the victory so we can live in it right now! “It’s so close WE can taste it!”