Those close to me know that over recent years I have developed a rather severe addiction to board games. I’m known as the resident “board game geek” here at camp. When I mention board games, many of you probably had flashbacks of spending countless hours playing games like Monopoly. Roll Dice, Move, Pay Money (REPEAT) I don’t know about you, but when I played Monopoly I always secretly hoped that I’d be the first person to go bankrupt.
‘Roll & Move’ type games like Monopoly and Sorry are not my kind of games. My favorite types of games are cooperative games. They’re typically very difficult to win and require you and the other players to work together as a united team to defeat the game.
These games provide you with several decisions to make during each turn. At times these decisions can be difficult and ultimately the game can be won or lost as a result of one good or bad decision. One of my favorite cooperative games is Pandemic. In this game, you are working together to stop four rapidly spreading diseases from taking over the world. This game is tough!
There are three ways to lose the game and that assumes that everyone is working together. If you don’t work together then you are going to lose rather quickly. Many times during games of Pandemic I’ve heard players say, “We’ve got this, we’re going to win this time” only to hear them a few rounds later say, “I can’t believe we just lost [insert continent name here] to the disease. Oh no, we’re going to lose…again!” Needless to say, I’ve lost many more games of Pandemic than I have won! But I keep coming back because there is a sense of fulfillment that comes from working together as a team and overcoming great odds to accomplish a worthwhile purpose.
When you play as many board games as I do you start to take away thoughts and ideas that you wouldn’t normally think you’d learn from a game. Cooperative games specifically have taught me the importance of working together, being a united team and the importance of having a worthwhile purpose in life.
As Christians, we have the privilege of being united together with other believers as the Church. Paul challenged the church of Corinth to be united and to work together. (1 Cor. 12:12-20 ESV)
We can’t all be an Ear, or a Hand or an Eye. As Paul says, “where would the body be?” Each part has value and is necessary for the body to function properly. God has given the church gifts to build up the body (1 Cor. 14:12) But we must be united and work together.
Are you united and working together with your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ?
God Uses Difficult Situations to Help Us Grow
If a church is going to be united, then they need to be connected in relationship with one another. Unfortunately, wherever you find groups of people gathered together you will almost always find fractured relationships. Relationships can be tough. I’ve learned over the years that God uses difficult people and situations as a jungle gym to grow me to be more like Christ. This is God’s sanctifying work of conforming me to the image of Christ (Ro. 8:29). I’ve learned to keep from trying to change the person I’m having problems with or even the situation. Instead, trusting that God sovereignly placed me in that relationship or situation I look to see what He is trying to teach me, or what He might be trying to change in me.
Is there someone at your church you’re purposely avoiding? Has there been a wall built up between you and that person? You know, that person who when you see him/her sitting on the right side of the aisle, you purposely sit on the left. Yeah…that person. What could you do this week to restore that relationship in order to become a united body again? Yes, it will be difficult and there will be tough decisions to make, but remember that you have the body of Christ around you that can come alongside to help. And most importantly, God is there waiting for you to cry out to Him and ask Him for His help in healing that relationship.
So why would we push through the hurt that relationships can sometimes bring, and tear down the walls that keep us from being a united body of Christ?
Paul says in Ephesians 3:10-12:
10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord (Ephesians 3:10-12 ESV)
I can’t think of a more worthwhile purpose than this!
Doug Pancoast, Director of Finance
To learn more about Lake Ann Camp, visit our website at www.lakeanncamp.com.