Is God Playing Games with Me?
I hate games, and I am married to a Youth Pastor.
I hate games, and I am married to a man who sucks the cream out of Twinkies and replaces it with tuna fish (because nothing says ‘Jesus loves you’ like Tuna) . . . for a living.
secretly-sarcastic super-supportive wife I have told complete strangers ‘what flavor ice cream I am and why’ just to break the ice, sat on balloons I knew were filled with whipped cream so my relay team could win, dressed up like a cheerleader and reenacted my favorite SNL skit to make the sleep over the best ever, and played endless rounds of butt charades simply because it was more fun than normal charades. I have greased watermelons, spent hours in small spaces with sweaty teenagers who really did smell like sardines, and [oh the places I’ve] gone on scavenger hunts.
That is just at youth group.
You know church people; they’re always getting married and having babies which calls for, of course, more games. I’ve smelled melted candy bars in diapers, put nylons on over my jeans while wearing rubber kitchen gloves, and lost my clothes pin for accidentally saying ‘baby.’ I have made wedding dresses from toilet paper, shaken plastic babies in hopes they land bum side up, and yelled bingo when the word ‘bouquet’ gave me five in a row.
My husband even brings his work home.
Someone at church told him to wash his wife in the water of the Word (a bible reference). He bought Scrabble and insisted we play every night.
We did, and I won. Every night. For a month. By at least 100 points. I finally let him win by two and the game board suddenly disappeared.
I hate games, and my husband has committed our lives to playing them.
I have no doubts that I married the right person. I believe with all my heart that pastoring is his ultimate purpose in life. Yet, I despise a key element to that purpose. So is God playing games with me? Or is God just asking me to play?
King David gathered all the people of Israel together and they gave all their jewels and treasures in order fulfill David’s dream of building a temple. David looked at all that had been given and then turned to God and said, “I know, my God, that you examine our hearts and rejoice when you find integrity there. You know I have done all this with good motives, and I have watched your people offer their gifts willingly and joyously.” It was not about the giving of stuff, it wasnt even about the stuff. The point was that they loved God and wanted to be a part of what He was doing . . . in any way they could.
God sometimes asks us to do things that we would not normally choose. It is not an effort to torture us, it is not about us at all. God is inviting us to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, the building of His Kingdom.
It often requires sacrifice (even the sacrifice of our pride, wants, and preferences), but we can be confident that the benefit far outweighs the cost. So we can give with joy and willingness like David and Israel. I can play, and know that God is pleased.
Anyone up for another round of Apples to Apples?