Sometimes the old games are the entertaining ones.
We got a new Twister game for the family to play over Christmas with a larger mat and more of those offending dots than ever before. The object of the game–listen to the caller as they yell out which arm or leg is supposed to go on what color dot. Then, as carefully and purposefully as possible, move whichever limb to the easiest dot that allows you to keep a precarious balance.
For older people, it’s an adventure of a shorter duration. Adults don’t tend to maintain impossible positions, with one leg stretched far to one side, an arm underneath trying to keep them upright, and the other limbs looped over someone else’s body.
Younger kids have a dexterity that defies many of us older folks. I watched twelve-year-old Isley balance on one arm beneath her while her other arm and leg were across the mat beneath someone else’s torso. Four-year-old Mason looked like a gymnast the way he was holding himself up. Eight-year-old Ryken was a literal tripod.
It was hilarious.
The conversation sounded way more adult than I would have expected. “That’s my space. Get your own.” “I was here first. Find your own dot.” “You can’t be there; you’ll knock me over.” Even in the midst of the game, it was about each individual and how they were doing. Everyone wanted to win, but jockeying for a position had me picturing older people on that mat.
We all want what we want. In our current societal confusion, entitlement pushes us to demand rights we were never intended to have. Rather than being aware of the needs of those around us, we’re all so focused on what we believe is most important to us–no matter how our desires could hinder others from doing well.
This behavior isn’t new. We are by nature selfish beings, looking out for our own interests before using whatever we have left–time, energy, or money–for others. This is how it’s been since people chose to walk away from God instead of staying in a relationship with Him.
When Jesus came to earth, taking on the limits of a human body to demonstrate to us God’s love, He cared for others well, often at great expense to Himself. His greatest care was going to the cross, suffering death in our place so we might live.
The Bible reminds us of the benefit of choosing to do good to others, of treating people as more important than ourselves.
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessings if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:9
Unselfish behavior is hard. It’s natural to care about what we need, wanting to make sure we have enough for ourselves and those we love.
Too often the focus is on having more than enough, not being satisfied with a little but always desiring additional of the desirable. Money and stuff become the driving need, and those who are truly needy are left to fend for themselves.
It’s one of the crazy twists of life, that having more makes us want more, and yet less can be so freeing and satisfying.
What do we really need?
Hope. Kindness. A future we can count on.
Only in Jesus.
That’s no game. It’s guaranteed.