Operation Is a Game, Not Your Life

“Operation”– one word takes us back to a childhood memory of sweating bullets to remove little white plastic pieces from a guy with a big red nose. Think about it— why did we get so worked up over that game? The diseases you were supposed to be curing were fake, the little crevices were WAY too small, and even the penalty for failing wasn’t your patient REALLY dying, but just a little red light & an annoying buzzer. But still the game sucked you in, and before you realized it your whole life was focused on removing that tiny wish bone.

But isn’t it so easy to live our lives just like that game? We see our lives as one “operation” after another, where we have to sweat through completing this task exactly right, or acting exactly right in front of our boss, or behaving exactly how another person wants us to behave, or meeting some internal flawless standard we impose on ourselves. We are constantly looking over our own shoulder, and if we make the slightest mistake a big annoying buzzer goes off in our head. BUZZ– you should have done that instead. BUZZ– you should have said that to him instead. BUZZ– you forgot that. BUZZ BUZZ BUZZ BUZZ BUZZ.

And if that wasn’t enough, some people are trying to play operation with not only their lives but our lives too. They have us squeezed into their little box of exactly what we should say & do & think & be & not say or do or think or be. Their mental eyes are constantly watching & the minute we violate their rules then BUZZ BUZZ BUZZ.

There’s a better way to live. First, be gentle with yourself. In Psalm 103 David reminds us that God has compassion on us, for he knows that “our frame is like dust”– that we aren’t capable of perfection. Have compassion on yourself. Forgive yourself. Life is not meant to be an operation game, with a buzzer constantly going off.

Second, don’t let anyone else be pressing a buzzer on you. They have no right to judge you, to pronounce that you have stepped outside their little box of what your life should be. Jesus made it clear in Matthew 7 that your life is between you and God alone. Let your wise Father guide you in His love, and ignore anyone else with a buzzer in their hand.

Third, take a look in your own hand. Are you holding a buzzer over someone else? Do you have this picture of who they need to be to meet your needs, or to meet some definition in your mind? Holding that buzzer in your hand isn’t helping them, & it isn’t helping you.

Let go of the boxes, let go of the buzzers. Live in freedom & forgiveness, both for yourself & for everyone in your life.

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