As much as I would rather not admit this, I like those little Microsoft games that come pre-installed on nearly every computer. Things like Minesweeper and Spider Solitaire. I try to stay disciplined and not let myself get carried away, wasting endless amounts of time on silly games, but I would be lying if I said I was always successful. They’re fun to me. And because the potential does exist for me to get caught up in the great time-wasting activity of these games, I have to set some parameters and guidelines for myself – and stick with them.
But, when it comes to Spider Solitaire, I do like to try to win at least once. So, if I get stuck I allow myself one restart, just to see if I can get it right second time around.
When I do get stuck and have to restart, a statement tries to grab my attention just to make absolutely certain I want to quit the game.
This counts as a loss in your statistics.
Now, in all honesty, those statistics mean nothing. I don’t play the game to have high statistics. I play it for a moment of diversion. But, my immediate reaction is to want all of my stats to show wins! I want to have good stats unaffected by frustrating losses! I get drawn in by the irrelevant.
It made me stop and wonder how often I get drawn in by other irrelevant losses. If I were to stop and contemplate the things I get upset about – the times when I feel cheated or deprived in any way – what would I find?
Meanwhile, I’m forced to contemplate what relevant losses might be. Suddenly I’m in a whole new realm, and I realize that the losses I typically “mourn” are pretty petty.
There are things we can lose on this earth that hurt. But all too often we overreact so abundantly to the insignificant little things that we find ourselves phenomenally overwhelmed when a truly painful loss comes our way.
I wonder what would happen if we were to let irrelevant and insignificant losses rolls off our backs. The traffic delay that makes us late. The work incident that robs us of time. The customer service phone call that drives us up the wall. What if we were to, in each of these situations, find ways to delight in the Lord despite our frustration? What if that were to become our habit instead of reacting as if we’d lost something more than just our convenience and preference?
The long-term consequences of such an attitude could be tremendous. I can only imagine how I might handle news of true loss were I in the habit of rejoicing and delighting in the Lord. It would still hurt. I would still wish it away. But I think I just might find it easier to rejoice despite the pain. I think I might find keeping my eyes on Jesus a little more natural instead of being completely knocked down by my circumstances.
Loss will never leave me in this life. If could be the loss of a piddly computer game or the loss of a loved one. It may be the loss of a day because something got delayed in shipping or the loss of years because of someone’s disobedience. How I deal with the little, daily, insignificant losses determines how I will deal with the big losses. May I learn to delight in the face of Jesus even in the little losses so that it will be my habit when the big losses hit.