Forrest Gump said life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re going to get.
Actually we apply a lot of metaphors to this journey called life. Oops, there was one right there! Perhaps you’ve compared life to riding an elevator. It has a lot of ups and downs and someone is always pushing your buttons. Sometimes you get the shaft, but what really gets you are the jerks. Or maybe for you, life is like cooking. It all depends on what you add and how you mix it. Sometimes you follow the recipe; at other times you just throw something together. Or maybe one of these best suits you:
Life is like a novel. You are the author and every day is a new page.
Life is like photography. We develop from negatives.
Life is like money. You can spend it any way you wish, but you only spend it once.
Life is like an onion. You peel off layer after layer and sometimes you weep.
Life is like a pencil. Sometimes you are sharpened. Sometimes you correct your mistakes. Always you leave a mark.
I think life is often like a game or at least that is how we play it. Something like Trivial Pursuit. We drift from day to day without a plan and without purpose, and we focus a lot of energy on things that don’t really matter. Like what we wear. Or what we drive. Or where we live. And what people say about us. All of these are trivial. Our focus should be what is important to God – what matters to Him.
Consider Psalm 50:7-15 (MSG), Scripture that you likely don’t read every day:
“Are you listening, dear people? I’m getting ready to speak; Israel, I’m about ready to bring you to trial. This is God, your God, speaking to you. I don’t find fault with your acts of worship, the frequent burnt sacrifices you offer. But why should I want your blue-ribbon bull, or more and more goats from your herds? Every creature in the forest is mine, the wild animals on all the mountains. I know every mountain bird by name; the scampering field mice are my friends. If I get hungry, do you think I’d tell you? All creation and its bounty are mine. Do you think I feast on venison? or drink draughts of goats’ blood? Spread for me a banquet of praise, serve High God a feast of kept promises, And call for help when you’re in trouble— I’ll help you, and you’ll honor me.”
Did you get it?
He said, “This is God. I’m telling you what matters to me, and it’s not your religion, and show and rules even though you are following the laws and traditions of sacrifice.” For us today He might say, “I could care less about your fancy sanctuaries and what you wear to church and all those programs you have and rules you have made up. All of that is trivial.”
What God wants is faithfulness, obedience, full trust in Him, kept promises and praise, lots of praise, genuine praise, a “banquet of praise.”
Are you serious? Doesn’t God realize that we need those rules and procedures, rituals and hierarchies?
No, He doesn’t.
He wants you, challenges you, calls for you to step away from all of that and to risk simply loving, following and praising Him. And not just on Sunday. Every day. Every moment. He wants you to love Him with “all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind…” (Luke 10:27, NIV)
I think He’d rather you play a game of Risk instead of Trivial Pursuit.