Sunday, 16 July 2017

Success Factors - did you really win?

Last hurrah in winter. We found ourselves checking in a Niagara hotel while Rhea and Michael are catching up on their short-lived honeymoon.  To avail the package, we walked to the Clifton Hill area and spent the hours in a place where the kids liked - a game arcade.  This was in March break - mid-March but it was still cold and 2 nights before, there was a blizzard in Niagara. We walked for about 3 blocks in snow but when we were near the Pirate's Cove, my kids got excited.  We started off with a game called Cannon Blasters.  This game is to be played in teams and the goal is hit the other teams target areas when the laser lights turned on.  The rule is to aim the cannon blaster and shoot, when the ball hits the target the team gets a point.

This is a popular game and we waited in line and we watched how the previous teams played the game.  The one before us is a family of 6, I think they were all siblings or cousins.  They were all grown ups.  There were six players and also six blasters but one of the cannon blasters didn't work.  The time already started and the teenager in the busted blaster started throwing the balls at the target areas instead of shooting it using the blasters.  The other kids followed suit and soon all of them were just throwing balls at each other and not anymore at the target areas just to keep them from scoring. Some of the team mates just punched the target areas on the opponent side to increase their score.  Of course the team who would hit the most wins. When the alarm sounded, they stopped playing and they were all laughing from getting even or getting high scores without following the rules.  I heard one of them said, "we won anyway, highest scores decide who won the game".  I know they were just having fun and I knew I was being a kill joy because I did not like the way they played the game and my kids witnessed it.  Actually I was angry, so before we were given the signal to go and take places, I told my kids to play the game the way it should be and I don't care who wins, just follow the rules.   The real winner is not a cheater.  I said it loud enough for those "cheaters" and other teams waiting in line to hear.

It's the same in life -whether it's a game, sports, career - climbing a corporate ladder, holding a public office or doing business, the success factors should not only be about winning, money, fame, status.  It should be about how you played the game, how you deal with people, how you followed the rules.  The right way of how to determine success is the peace of mind and heart.  Did you really win?  Did you really achieve the goals or scores by hard work? Did you get to where you are now because of doing it "ethically"?  Are you humble enough to say that the outcome is a result of hard work, prayers  and the favour that made you become successful is from God?

I am so amazed at how some popular athletes today give reverence to whom their strength and success come from.  Before each game, they would give a sign or even pray with the teammates.  God blessed them continually because He is acknowledged.  His promise is real and eternal.

Proverbs 3:1-4 says:
1 My son, do not forget my teaching,
    but let your heart keep my commandments,
for length of days and years of life
    and peace they will add to you.
Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;
    bind them around your neck;
    write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good success[a]
    in the sight of God and man.

My kids and I played to our hearts desire and we enjoyed hitting or missing the targets, everybody wins, it was how we played the game.  We left the arcade with happy hearts.   I believe we are competitive in most aspects of life and that game previous to ours is a perfect opportunity to make them remember that there is another set of rules in every game we play. That is God's rules and how he sees us and our reactions to defeat, how we are ethical in our actions.  I admit I am sometimes disappointed or frustrated because after I did my best, I still did not achieve my goal or I lost in a game or was not successful in something but deep in my heart I have peace and a trusting heart that allows God to intervene.  For me, that is my success factor.  What about you?

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