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The Infinite Game

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Have you tried to play a game but realized you were losing because you were playing by the wrong rules? I have... more times than I am willing to admit. It can be so frustrating. Imagine you try to play Monopoly while using the rules of Candyland. It just would not work. The goal of Candyland is to simply move forward until you get to the finish line. The game of Monopoly has no finish line. The goal of the game is to keep going around the board and collecting assets until you outlast  everyone else. If you played Monopoly with the rules of Candyland, you would probably become discouraged pretty quickly. Isn't this game supposed to be easier than this? Why is this taking so long? Wasn't I supposed to be further along by now? I don't want to play this game anymore. I want to play something different.

Monopoly with train game piece
Photo by Joshua Hoehne / Unsplash

Simon Sinek challenges us to see our lives the same way. What if we have been living our lives playing by the wrong rules... or least by temporary rules in a much longer game. Life is not a game that can be won. Life is a "game" that is meant to be played over a long period of time.

When it comes to leading others (ourselves, a team, a business, a family, a ministry) ... the same idea applies. We have been taught by well-meaning leaders to cast a compelling vision. This is obviously true. However, are we trying to win a finite game or an inifinte game? Is our goal to win, to beat someone else, or is our goal to create something that outlasts our career?

Photo by Ariel / Unsplash
The business world is not a finite game, so business leaders need to adopt an infinite mindset.
-Simon Sinek

As a pastor, this is very difficult to understand. I have been taught to measure success by how many nickels and noses are in my church. However, I often wonder how my grandkids would "rate my life." Would they care how many people were in my church, how many social media followers I had, or how many people read my books? Rather, would they care about how well I fathered their parents? Would they care about the seeds I planted for them to harvest?

My heart has started to change from trying to reach a certain number by a certain date. Instead, I am have thinking more about how to change tomorrow's generation by planting seeds of faithfulness today.

It is a long obedience in the same direction.

How does this apply to your life? Have you ever thought about the fact you are parenting your grandkids by the way you are currently raising your kids? What are you currently doing that will "continue the game" for those who will come behind?  

Life is not a sprint.
Life is not a marathon.
Life is a relay.
We run our part of the grand race and then we pass off the baton to the hungry next generation. What will our kids inherit from us?
This question doesn't motivate me to speed up and strive more. It motivates me to slow down and care more about doing the right things, the right way, and for the right reasons.