When I first started out, I had nothing. No one gave me anything, I had to do it all myself. It took a long time. Sometimes I would get lucky and be in just the right spot at just the right time and end up with a real lucrative opportunity. Other times nothing seemed to go right and every move I made cost me money. The people around me were the ones who got the breaks and scored big.
It took a lot of patience and learning how to play the game, but over time I began to accumulate the fruits of my labor and had lots of money, property, and opportunity. There is a point when your hard work pays off and you get to sit back and watch your money make you more money. I finally reached that place.
Some of my friends didn’t like it though. I know they were happy for me, but they seemed to resent me because I had done better than they had. I remember one huge deal I made. I had played it out just right, and leveraged almost everything I had to buy this huge upscale property in the perfect location. The risk paid off and I immediately began to make big returns on the investment. Looking in the eyes of one of my friends, I realized he wasn’t sharing any of my joy. Instead he looked angry, jealous, and even acted like a jerk, saying to another friend “anybody can make money if they get all the breaks, there’s no skill in this.”
That’s when it hit me: every time I win, someone else has to lose. Every dollar I make comes from someone else. Every opportunity I snatch up is a loss of opportunity for the other guy. Still, I like being the one with all the toys and all the attention. When you are in the lead, the game is so much fun!
But then it’s time to go. You have to say goodbye to all that accumulated wealth, let go of the money, fold up the board, and go home. Yes, Monopoly is a really fun game when you’re winning, but it doesn’t really count for anything in the end.
It is, after all, only a game.
Some things matter more than others, and we are prone to live life with our priorities upside down. As I heard a minister say, “We work at our play, worship our work, and play at our worship.”
Jesus is recorded in Matthew 16:26 and 27 as saying “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his own soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?”
So how about you? Are you investing all your time, energy, and passion in things that don’t last, or are you investing in eternal things? When it’s time to fold up the board and go home, will you know where you’re going? All the possessions in the world won’t do you any good if they’re only game pieces.
Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Dear God, I admit I’ve never really surrendered to you. Instead, I’ve trusted in myself, another person, or my possessions to save me. I know only Jesus can save me through his life, death, and resurrection. Please forgive my sin and rebellion against you, and let me live a life that pleases you. Let me be with you forever . Amen