I've jumped out of that plane 1,734 times.
I've mastered the last-second parachute deployment in order to get the most efficient landing in the quickest time. Yet, here I am, lying dead in the first minute of my game. It wasn't my fault. The game froze right as I was diving down in the last 50 meters of my landing. It froze before I could pull the cord, and when the game came back to its senses, I was already dead.
It is frustrating that no matter how much experience I have or how I have mastered the jump and landing, there is no safeguard against a nasty bug that is just there to kill you. No amount of hours of training or practice could anticipate when this bug will occur; I was just a passenger along for the ride when it happens. The game spends 5 minutes for matchmaking and loading, and I only get less than a minute of playtime. Like many of you, I'm not too fond of these unpredictable, game-ending bugs that should not happen in a AAA game.
Look here, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit." How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it's here a little while, then it's gone. What you ought to say is, "If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that." Otherwise you are boasting about your own pretentious plans, and all such boasting is evil.
Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.
- James 4:13-17
Life can sometimes feel like a AAA game. There are so many dreams we want to accomplish in it, and many things we want to have and to do. We spend our first 20 years mastering the skills for such a successful life, and we expect to reap all that we want in a future we have secured. We don't expect the curveball that hits us at any moment. We don't expect the diagnosis of a terminal disease right when we graduate. We don't expect the sudden death of a loved one. We don't expect a pandemic that shut down the whole world, nor did we expect to see one country brazenly attempting to conquer another in the 21st century.
What many of us expect is to live forever while missing nothing we want. We think we deserve what we expected, and we don't think about the brevity of our AAA life.
The scripture is a continual reminder for us about the shortness and fragility of our life. God doesn't care to sugarcoat our lives, but rather, He wants us to live in sober reality. At the same time, He is not looking to make humanity live in a depressing weight of gloom, but instead, He wants us to live with a glorious eternity in mind. He wants us to make the most of our unknown duration: To love Him and others, to act mercifully and justly, to serve the poor and unseen in our society, and to anticipate for the eternity that is to come. This doesn't mean our short time on this side of eternity will be joyless, but rather, we are to seek the joy that is from the Holy Spirit (Gal.5:22).
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Romans 15:13
Have you lived your life ignoring the sober reality of our fragility? Are you living just to prolong and secure your life, or are you making the most of it for others because eternity is just around the corner? My encouragement for all of us today is to risk it all for God's kingdom while we have our health and resources because there will come a day when our game will freeze; when our time is up. Whether our game will last 90 years or 1 minute, let’s dive into life with an eternal purpose.
"Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.
Remind me that my days are numbered—
how fleeting my life is.
- Psalm 39:4
I have exciting news to share: You can now read Good Game, Good God in the new Substack app for iPhone.
With the app, you’ll have a dedicated Inbox for my Substack and any others you subscribe to. New posts will never get lost in your email filters, or stuck in spam. Longer posts will never cut-off by your email app. Comments and rich media will all work seamlessly. Overall, it’s a big upgrade to the reading experience.
The Substack app is currently available for iOS. If you don’t have an Apple device, you can join the Android waitlist here.