I was on a team of five, trekking through fields and forests late at night. It was pitch dark. We were on a mission. And there were others out there determined to keep us from it. All of a sudden, we were ambushed.
A man (Chris, you know who you are) jumped out from the tall grass, completely camouflaged, and shot me in my thigh from three feet away with his gun. His paintball gun. I hit the ground writhing in pain. And because I had been shot, I was required to do push-ups as punishment in order to proceed with the game.
Yes, it was a game. A difficult and sometimes painful game that required getting past uncomfortable, confusing and frustrating obstacles into the wee hours of the morning. We didn’t complain about the obstacles, because overcoming the obstacles was the whole point, the very reason we were out there. We played the game on purpose, just for the challenge, and it was so much fun!
I have noticed something in life: to be fully alive is to confront. If I am expanding and growing, I will come up against obstacles, daily. Obstacles are not a violation of the game…they ARE the game. It’s the game of living greatly. Avoiding obstacles has me shrinking back into a world that gets smaller and smaller or leaves me not being in the game at all.
My own coach, Ephraim Olschewski, has said, “Your problem is not that you have problems, but that your problems are too small. Your life is about surviving, and that’s a small game. So what, at the end of your life you’ll be able to say you survived your life? No, that’s not what your life is about. You need problems, big problems, problems that you can give your life to. Problems that are worthy of who you really are, worthy of your greatness. No, your problem isn’t that you have problems, but that your problems are too small for your greatness.”
I love that! What do you want…to just survive or to be fully alive? What kind of future are you living into today? Is it safe, predictable and just about survival? Or is it bold, inspiring and seemingly impossible? The game you are playing will determine the obstacles you are facing. You get to decide the kind of game you are in…a game of living safely or a game of living greatly. Two different games! For any realm where you have been playing it safe, you can choose to create a game worth giving your life to and worthy of who you really are.
The obstacle is the call, your opportunity, to rise up! You can either pour your energy into resisting (complaining, fearing, freaking out about) the obstacle or pour your energy into dealing with and overcoming it. Notice how your experience with an obstacle transforms when you begin to see it as a required element in order to have a game. No obstacle = No game. No confrontation = No aliveness. Get present to that.
So if you find yourself facing big obstacles and getting confronted by life, that’s a great sign. Really. It’s difficult, painful and requires your all because you’re in a big game. You’re on the field. You’re not on the bench or in the stands. And you’re not shrinking back. Keep living greatly. Create a game worthy of your life and the giftings God gave you. Play on, my friends!