Do you remember the kid’s game, Operation? There was a cardboard human body with many openings with little plastic removable body parts. Players would take turns trying to remove a body part with a tweezers, and if they could remove that plastic piece without touching the sides of the little opening it was in and sounding off the buzzer, they could have another turn and try to remove another part. When they sounded off the buzzer in their attempt to remove the piece, it was the next player’s turn.
The game came to my mind today when I was doing what I try to do daily – examine myself to see if my thoughts, attitudes, and motives are what they should be. When the tweezers hits up against something kind of ugly or harmful, the beeper goes off. This happens pretty much all the time, and someone might say, “Why bother? None of us are perfect”.
We are all made differently, and someone else may just say, at the end of each day, “I did my best. I’m sorry for the mistakes I made, and I’ll start fresh tomorrow”, and that works for them. I’m a morning person, pretty sensitive and introspective (although I often wish I wasn’t), and I seem to function best when I have a handle on the issues I need to deal with.
So, when that buzzer goes off, I pay attention, realize it’s something I need to work on, and decide if I am willing to do that. I usually am willing, but sometimes it is an attitude or mindset that just seems impossible to change. I know by now that nothing is impossible, so I just put the intention out there – remember, I am willing to change; I just don’t know how – and leave it up to God. As in so many other areas of life, I don’t have to know how something is going to be accomplished. I simply have to be willing to do my part and believe. My part is usually something that is only revealed when it needs to be.
For example, if, in my desire to mend a broken relationship, I am prompted to write a letter or call that person one day, I pay attention and do that. Maybe this starts the process of healing. If, in my search for a job, I feel nudged one day to talk to a person I see in the grocery store, I do that. Maybe they are the person who knows of a job opening which would be perfect for me right now.
So much of my life has been wasted wondering and worrying about how something could be done. I am so grateful to finally “get it” – my willingness, my belief, and my staying aware in the present moment are all that are necessary from me. If I have these down, the how will take care of itself.
Now, concerning the why of my “operating” on real-life attitudes and motives – I do it so I don’t carry around baggage that will hinder me from being an effective world changer, a clear channel for the love and grace of God. I also do it because I want to feel good, not weighed down with the heaviness of guilt, resentment, or pride.
So, I suppose in a way it is a self-serving thing to do, and that is okay. If I don’t feel good and like myself, it is unlikely that I will fulfill my destiny. For me, it is worth the time and effort to play this little game each morning. Just as it did when I was a kid, the sound of the buzzer makes me cringe and be upset with myself for just a second. Then, I get back into the spirit of the game, keep hoping I will do better, and keep using those tweezers on those things I want to remove.
People say, “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game”. In my mind, if you play the game right, even most of the time, you win.