The military plays war games for a reason; you can take risks without the fear of dying.
War games allow you to take strategies learned in the classroom and try them out in a simulated environment. Bullets and bombs won’t kill you. Crash landings won’t leave scratches. You have the chance to die and start again. You have the opportunity to learn how to fight and survive, so when the time comes you can do it on the battlefield.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could live in a world of simulations? That negative word you spoke to your spouse would have been erased and fixed. The harsh words to your co-workers would instead be kind and helpful. The critical decision to find life in the arms of someone other than your spouse or in a bottle would simply vanish. Wouldn’t that be great?
But life isn’t like that. Negative and harsh words leave a gaping hole in relationships. Comfort found in the wrong places leads to loneliness and regret. The consequences can be overwhelming. Hope is soon forgotten.
But hope is real and present. It’s like waking up from a bad dream and the moment you wake up everything becomes clear again. You may not be sure what comes next, but you are moving. You may even want to run away, but you can’t because life won’t let you. Bad dreams are real but so is waking up, and waking up is the journey toward the light. The question is, are you ready for the journey?
The journey begins with the good news that in Christ we always have hope. That makes this life like a war game. To be sure, our mistakes are real and cause damage. Romans 3 gives a laundry list of how bad things can get. And the consequences are real because our bad decisions put us in debt for life with God (Romans 6:23). Thankfully, we have a Savior who willingly pays our debt and sets us free (Galatians 5). We have a Savior who guarantees us final victory (1 Corinthians 15:57 and Revelation 19). We do not have to be afraid because death cannot touch us (Revelation 20:6).
Wouldn’t it be great if we could live in a world of simulations?
If life, then, is like a war game, how can you participate? Take calculated risks with courage. See each day as one more step on the journey. What does that look like? It takes the form of daily decisions to…
Prepare your heart for battle.
Meditate on passages of The Word, like Psalm 103 that assures you that your sin is removed, or Romans 8 that reminds you that you are protected against all attacks.
Use your freedom for good.
Look at Galatians 5 and make a list of things you want to change to make you a better warrior for Christ.
Reach out to those you have hurt.
This step of humility may be the hardest thing you have to do but it brings life to a tired soul. Ask forgiveness, listen to the pain, join them in weeping.
War games are important to military readiness and the same is true for the Christian. Our mistakes are used to mold and shape us into the image of Christ. Our blunders drive us closer to our Savior. Our failures remind us of the grace we have in Jesus. So, are you ready for the journey? The first step is the hardest, but it’s worth the risk.