No More Games

I was recently told by a student that they didn’t know a lot about me as a person outside of my work at A Better Chance or as a college preparation professional and so I’ve decided to use my New Year’s note this year to share a fact that you may or may not know: I love games.

To clarify that statement a bit, I enjoy a challenging game of CatchPhrase, which I have introduced to enough people to qualify for stock options with Hasbro, but I also can be found playing everything from Yahtzee to Phase 10 to Chess to Spades. I just love the thrill of competition: the constant tension between the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.

I have made a decision though. There are some games that I am not going to play in 2016 because I feel that I’ve outgrown them. They were fun when I was younger, but now, they just don’t hold the same appeal. And perhaps, when you think about it, you’ll want to get rid of a few of them as well.

· Hide and Seek – I don’t have the energy to search for people whose goal is not to be found. Disappearing parents, absentee friends and non-committed volunteers all take so much energy that could be invested in other more positive endeavor.

· Tag – sometimes it feels like everyone is chasing you so you can be “it.” – whatever “it” happens to be at the time. They are chasing you because you need to be their homework partner or study buddy or coworker or confidante. But don’t you get tired of always running when “it” changes so quickly?

· Bombardment – everyone has a ball and they all are targeting you. And you can catch the balls for a while, but eventually you get hit and you are out of the game. And the only reason that they decided to team up to get you out of the game first is because they knew you could win.

· Go Fish! – you are playing with a group of friends and you tell them what you need, but they take great joy in telling you to look elsewhere to have your needs met.

· Jenga – you have a strong foundation, but people keep taking pieces out of it. No one wants to be responsible for making your foundation crumble, but everybody keeps trying.

· Cops and Robbers – it seems we don’t get to pick which team we are on in this game any more.

· Assassin – no further explanation required.

But Scholars, even if you decide to get rid of the childish games that people are trying to play in your world, it’s still possible to win because the only person that you ever really needed to compete against is yourself. Challenge yourself to take more rigorous classes, try a new activity, get more involved in A Better Chance or change your community with that great idea that you have. Disconnect from your virtual world now and then and actually spend time with your friends and family. And above all else, whatever you do, grow up: intellectually, spiritually, physically and socially.

I Corinthians 13:11 says, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, and I thought as a child. But when I became a man, I put away childish things.”