I know he was trying to do something nice for me, but I’m not sure it was beneficial. A few months ago my husband introduced me to a new solitaire-type game on the computer. “I think you’ll like this one,” he said one evening.
I was skeptical at first… no doubt because I’m basically a resistor of change, and figured that “Freecell” would do me just fine for the rest of my life. Nevertheless I gave the new game a try, and was quickly hooked. Still am, although I try to practice the Christian virtue of moderation in all things.
I have to admit however that this game has served to illustrate a tremendous spiritual truth to me… which perhaps gives my quasi addiction some redeeming value. After failing repeatedly to win a round, I made the amazing discovery that I could re-set the log of my wins and losses whenever I wanted. With the click of a key, all the losses were instantly erased and I was granted a brand new, fresh start.
How wonderful to see a 100% success rate following a single win, rather than 2.5% following successive defeats. How kind of the programmers to include such a “grace” function in their creation. Somehow it motivates me to try harder, to strive to pile win upon win… to improve!
I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3: 19-23)
So the originator of my game wasn’t the first producer of “the clean slate.” Like all good things, God thought of it first. He is the Author of the second chance, and third chance and the one thousand and fifty-sixth chance! When I fail, if I confess my sin to Him… poof! He re-sets the score!
Of course, I have to admit that when I’m racking up more losses than wins in my game, I can become disheartened… and if I ever want to become a champion, I can’t content myself with losing over and over and over. I need to learn the strategies, practice skillfully, and persevere when I fall.
How very much like my Christian walk. God in His grace, forgives, cleanses and wipes my slate clean when I fail. But one of these days He’s hoping that I start amassing more victories than defeats… more triumphs than tragedies… more steps forward than backward. And that’s because He’s more into me conquering the game, than in it conquering me!
And so, when I clear my game statistics, most certainly some time later today, I will smile to myself, and mutter a sincere “thank You!” to the Author of my faith for His mercy that is brand new every morning.