I found myself playing chutes and ladders tonight with my daughter before dinner. If you know me, you know I don’t like playing games, but I do it for my kids. I didn’t grow up with competitive, game-loving parents, so I didn’t play them very much. We were a busy family and unless we were with one of my grandmas (who LOVED to camp and play cards) we just didn’t play them much.
Anyways, I found myself sitting on the floor with my seven-year-old playing this awful game. Have you played it recently? You start off so bright-eyed and hopeful that you’re going to keep progressing up the board, but every so often, by random chance, you land on a slide looking thingy and have to “slide down the chute” and move backward 5-50 spaces! Not fun and not fair AT ALL but, you may also land on a ladder and advance your way up towards the finish line.
Tonight, I landed on ALL the slides down more than the ladders up and decided I hate this game and it’s the worst and I’m just not sure if I’m going to keep this game in the house anymore. I shouted to my husband in the kitchen, “This is the worst game ever!” and he agreed. As we proceeded to chat about how terrible it was and how not like real life it was, I suddenly stopped. Wait, this totally IS like real life. The person winning (my daughter in this case) always wants to keep playing because she’s focused on the goal and almost at the finish line. But the person losing, is usually SO done being pushed back fifty stinking spaces (for the fourth time in a row), has lost sight of the goal, and doesn’t see why they should keep playing.
Instantly, I started to think about a friend who’s been battling cancer and her son who’s finishing up his 2.5 year journey with it as well. I started to think about people who have lost loved ones, relationships, jobs and so much over the past few years. I started to think about all the kids who lost their senior year, special trips, and long-awaited futures that have been put on hold. I think about parents who have sacrificed their whole lives, giving up careers and so much more to care for and teach their children during this time. I think about people who have worked hard and waited their whole lives to be retired and travel and now that has to look different. So many stinking chutes, so much discouragement!!!!
And just like the game, there are also so many ladders. New lives being born. New inventions being created. New ministries being launched. Unexpected peace in the midst of chaos. Sweet intimacy with Jesus. A fresh perspective on what it means to be alive. Space to be still and reimagine life rhythms and routines. Reconnection with our families inside the home. Rich time spent investing in a few close face-to-face relationships. So many amazing, supernatural ladders too!!!
So what does this have to do with Christ-centered yoga? Well, not much, but I wanted to share this thought with you because it felt important. Tonight, I felt like I was never going to get ahead or stay where I wanted to be. I kept getting pushed back and discouragement started to win. Since I lost sight of the goal, to cross the finish line no matter how challenging it was to get there, I lost motivation to keep going.
I don’t know where you’re at in the game of real life, but I know the enemy wants to discourage us. No matter if you’re at the top of the board game, just starting out, or have been down the stinking chute twenty times, the enemy will do whatever he can to try and discourage us. He comes to kill, steal, and destroy…..us, our relationships, our joy, our focus on Christ, and the assignments we’ve been given.
Are you feeling discouraged today? I’ve been there. You’re not alone friend!
I believe it’s time for us as followers of Jesus to intentionally get encouraged! It’s time to get a fresh perspective of what’s really happening. In order to stay encouraged to keep going and stay aligned with the Truth, Holy Spirit, I ask that you show us how to pray, how to read our Bibles, Worship our guts out, armor up and ask you for wisdom and a larger perspective of what’s really going on. Lord, your word says in Romans 8;
“31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
AMEN! Give us a fresh understanding and revelation of this Father! This is good new friends! These verses remind us that we are MORE THAN CONQUERORS through Christ who loved us. Thank you Jesus. If you’re looking for a place to start feeling encouraged today, start with this. Remember that you’ve already won and we are victorious (no matter where we are at on the board) because of what Jesus did on the cross for us. Start there friend and keep going.
Love and Blessings. Keep breathing,