Game not over

Activated - - FRONT PAGE - By Marie Story

I love play­ing the tilematch­ing video game Tetris. The rea­son I like it is that I can plan it all out by look­ing at the pieces that will come up next, and as they come down, I can fit them all in place evenly and lower the stack. At least, that’s the idea.

Even bet­ter is cor­rect­ing the mis­takes I make. Some­times I plunk a piece down in the wrong spot, and then I have to fig­ure out how to work around that mis­take to get rid of the prob­lem spot. It doesn’t al­ways work out, though. I do great for the first few lev­els, but as things speed up and pieces are drop­ping faster and faster, I can’t con­trol them as well any­more. Pieces end up in the wrong places, and the stack gets closer and closer to the top.

Soon enough, “GAME OVER” is blink­ing on the screen, and my ex­cite­ment for the game is tinged with frus­tra­tion.

Some­times life can feel like that. We make one mis­take after an­other, and sud­denly it seems like there is noth­ing we can do to fix things. Some­times even our best plans end up in a mess, and no mat­ter what we try or how we ma­neu­ver things, prob­lems pile up and it feels like the game is over.

But the best thing about a game like Tetris is that there’s al­ways a chance to play again. It doesn’t mat­ter how many times you lose; you’ve al­ways got a fresh start when you want it.

That’s what Je­sus does for us. He knows we’re not per­fect. He un­der­stands our lim­i­ta­tions and weak­nesses. He de­signed us, and He un­der­stands that we can’t “win” ev­ery time.

Je­sus has promised to re­move our mis­takes and sins “as far as the east is from the west.” That means they’re

1 gone; we’ve got a clean slate and we can start over. And this doesn’t just apply to your spir­i­tual life. No mat­ter how well you plan out your life, there will come times when

you’ll need to be­gin again. When that hap­pens, it can be dis­cour­ag­ing. All you see is that big “GAME OVER” sign blink­ing in your mind.

But there’s al­ways a chance to play again.

A clean slate is an awesome thing. It means the past is done and gone. When you start a new game of Tetris, it won’t refuse you the chance to play again if you’ve lost too many times. When Je­sus gives you a clean slate, it’s re­ally a clean slate. He’s not look­ing back at your past record of mis­takes and fail­ings. “If any­one is in Christ, he is a new cre­ation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

2 Do you feel like your plans have gone up in smoke, and you don’t know how to start re­build­ing? Or are you just dis­cour­aged be­cause your first at­tempts have gone nowhere? Re­mem­ber that you’ve al­ways got a chance to start a new game. Je­sus has a plan and a goal for your life, and He’ll use even the mis­takes you make to bring you closer to that goal.

King Solomon tells us that a right­eous man falls seven times and gets back up. There’s no way around

3 the fall­ing. It’s the get­ting up and start­ing again that mat­ters.

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