Someone recently told me about the level of disappointment he feels with where he is in life. He feels like he should be a better dad, better husband, better moneymaker, and be more accomplished.
Meanwhile, I’m reading Seth Godin’s Linchpin. He says that the rules have changed, and if we are feeling some dissonance in things like my friend described, maybe it’s because we’re playing by the wrong set of rules. Maybe somebody changed the rules and never told us.
Or did He?
In fact, there are two sets of rules: one set of rules that came before the Fall of Man, and a new set of rules that came after. The old rules told us to use our gifts to keep the Garden of Eden, to possess the Earth and have dominion over it, and to obey the rules. Having disobeyed, we are given some new rules that tell us our gifts will yield sustenance for our physical bodies by the sweat of our brow amid frustrations and sorrows.
The problem is that the old rules are still posted in a brightly-lit, off-limits corner of our souls, and we still want to get in on that game. Sadly, the game has changed. Now we play the rebel’s game, not the game of blessing, and the rebel’s game is wearying and unsatisfying.
The good news is that Jesus Christ became a rebel. He pulled up a chair at the rebel’s table, anted up alongside accomplished rogues like us, and played to win. Though he knew that winning at the rebel’s game is losing at the game of blessing, he won spectacularly. He never once played a rebel’s hand, but somehow, he ran the table. He went on to collect the rebel’s prize that each of us should have received, and left us his winnings earned at the game of blessing.
Though we would rather play the game of blessing, we are stuck playing the rebel’s game until the Lord calls us home, and that means a life full of weariness and frustration. But have hope in this: let those minor-key themes in your life serve as reminders that Christ died to collect the prize you earned so that you can collect his.