That’s how far I currently am in one of my favorite games on my phone: Clash Royale. It’s a game where you have a deck of 8 different cards with different characters that you use to fight the other player’s characters and try to destroy their towers.
Most of my mornings this summer have started out with a couple rounds of this game, and honestly I’ve been kind of proud of how far I’ve gotten in the game without spending a cent on it. It’s provided a nice stress reliever during a fairly stressful summer in which I’ve been working multiple jobs, taking classes, and fulfilling multiple other obligations.
Overall it has been a succesful summer. I haven’t had much free time, but I’ve made some money, read some books, and made some progress in a fun video game.
But as I sat down outside tonight alone with my thoughts, I began to think and pray. I realized that as driven as I have been this summer, I haven’t been satisfied. I’ve been living the life I want, and I’ve been living a pretty decent and productive life by most standards– including the typical Christian standards.
But as I prayed I began to be honest with myself and God, and I admitted that my life has been my greatest concern in maximizing it to its greatest potential by my standards and expectations. I’ve wanted to set myself up with the best path forward for financial success. I’ve wanted to learn as much as possible. And overall my life has been driven by setting myself up to be as succesful in every area of my life as possible.
But instead of praying that God would bless my efforts, I felt as though I was being led to pray something different. I prayed that God would simply captivate my heart, that everything I do would center around my relationship with Him, and that everything I enjoy throughout the day are the blessings He has placed in my life for me to enjoy.
I pulled out my cellphone and opened my BIble app. I began reading 1 Corinthians and every word was vivid, but particularly 1 Corinthians 6:20 which states that my life is not my own — it was bought by Christ and belongs to Him.
I suddenly realized that I haven’t been waking up every morning with the purposes of my Lord on my mind. I’ve been waking up every morning stressing over all the things I think I need to do to make my life as fulfilled as possible, and using God as a supplement to that purpose.
I realized that Clash Royale represented everything wrong with my summer — it’s been all about my success and pride as I focus on my goals rather than on the goals God has for me as I live in my relationship with Him.
I’m not bashing video games or that game in particular, I’m saying that until tonight the true meaning of being a bondservant of Christ has never fully dawned on me. It’s not just about not doing bad things because I belong to Christ. It’s about giving Christ every last bit of my intentionality every single day because He redeemed my life.
As I considered my successes and failures, I prayed for forgiveness and reflected on my flaws and shortcomings. But I also prayed and thanked God for the gifts and strengths He has given me because this whole thing isn’t about beating myself up either.
As I contemplated the fact that I’m not my own and neither are my gifts and abilities, I experienced the sensation of true satisfaction that I have been missing. Paul was right in saying that all of this sounds like foolishness in a world that says that we should do as much for ourselves as possible, but happiness is in a life wholly devoted to intentionally giving all of our effort and gifts to the God to whom we belong.
So this isn’t me saying that I had some sort of life-changing, earth-shattering event. I’m not vowing to forever give up video games or any other distraction. But I am thankful to God for the reminder that every second of every day that I have belongs to Him, and the reason I am reflecting on tonight on the internet rather than in my personal journal is that I hope my reminder might serve as a reminder to the reader as well.
So my prayer is that I will wake up tomorrow, and the first thing I do is spend time in my relationship with God, and pray that He will guide me and show me how He wants me to use my gifts and abilities for Him. He owns every aspect of my life, and I am thankful that I have been given a glimpse of what it truly means to fully surrender myself to the only source of true fulfillment as I live to intentionally do what God wants me to do with every second I have rather than merely focusing on what I shouldn’t do and leaving the rest up to my own opinion on what my life should look like.
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