I was babysitting for a friend, a single mother, she had a doctor’s appointment of some sort. I’ve known her little boy for years, and he holds a very special place in my heart. I love getting to spend time with him, and he loves… video games. I’m smart enough to know that in the brief 3 hours I have to engage with him, to perhaps–by the grace of God–show him just a glimpse of Biblical Manhood, I’m going to have to join him in his favorite hobby.
I have a PLayStation 3, It’s dusty and the controllers are rarely charged because I don’t have much time for it anymore, but it works so I took this boy (let’s call him Jay) to my bookshelf (where I keep my games) to see what he liked. I was shocked at how few age appropriate games I had, even fewer still that allowed for both of us to play together, and by the time he eliminated the ones that he was not interested in we were left with no games to play. So being the nice guy that I am I threw him in the car and we drove down to the local game stop. In search of the perfect game. Something age appropriate, multiplayer, not too complicated, something he would enjoy, and most importantly, cheap.
It took no time at all for his 6-year-old brain to lose track of our goal. He ran around the store looking at games that fit none of our criteria. He suddenly wanted all of them, and then he didn’t. Jay had found his prize. A Dragon Ball Z game. This game was quite the opposite of what we had set out for. Single player rated T (ie. not age appropriate), and worst of all it was insanely expensive. Meanwhile, I had found the perfect game, and suddenly we were at odds with each other.
Now being the all powerful adult with the credit card I knew that I was going to get my way. Finally, I pried the wretched Dragon Ball Z game out of his hands and bought the game I selected and went home. He wasn’t thrilled at first, but when we got to playing he was happy. Maybe I let him win, maybe I didn’t (I’ll never tell), but as he started beating me over and over he realized he really liked this game. I doubt he would ever think to admit it, but I was right and I knew what was best for him.
A few days later it hit me. I am Jay.
I spend my whole life groping and clawing and clinging on to the things that I want most. The things that I have deemed best for me. Here is God, who spoke all things into existence and in him, the universe is held together, and here am I. God versus Nate. It is infinitely more ludicrous than Nate versus Jay. I am clinging on to some stupid video game not knowing what God has for me, not trusting in his provision, and not really believing that has a plan for me. If I do believe in his plan then I am arrogant enough to counterfeit his for mine.
This is a lesson that has been manifesting itself over and over and over since this happened a few weeks ago. God has shown me that he knows what he is doing. God has done amazing things in my life when I have just let go. You would think that I would keep letting go, but no… I keep hanging on… Keep clinging to things He would rather I let go of.
The beauty of God is that even in our sin he can work in our lives. It’s not always fun at the time, we may whine and complain in the car on the way home. But if we are in God’s will eventually we are going to start winning. “Winning” may not be what we envision it to be now, but when it comes you’ll know it.