Jack has been studying a lot lately. It seems as though taking a College correspondence course is right in time with the strange times we are in, the whole world is in. Distance work, computer work now made possible with fast internet and social acceptance. There are great benefits to working at home. Good coffee for one. No ground coffee in the cans for Jack. Pleasant contact with family, mostly. Casual clothing too. Just sit at the keyboard in his Wall-Mart shopping pajamas and start working with the bean grinder and French press nearby.
A game plan that satisfies. After Jack passed his philosophy finals, he found something pleasing. He kept studying historical philosophy for more insight. To be more aware of his own thoughts and philosophic views.
A poem by Frederick Nietzsche, translated from German, hit Jack profoundly: “Oh man, take heed of what the dark midnight says: I slept, I slept—and from deep dreams I awoke: The world is deep—and more profound than day would have thought. Profound in her pain—Pleasure more profound than pain of heart, Woe speaks; pass on. But all pleasure seeks eternity—a deep and profound eternity”
Nietzsche, without trust in an infinite and personal God, went insane in beautiful Switzerland. We now realize without that trust we develop what we refer to a ‘Game Plans’ We shut ourselves up in the structure of a plan and do not look beyond it. Perhaps a plan of a secure retirement investment, shaving two seconds off of a 50 yard breaststroke or getting that hole in one. Once the game plan actually comes to fruition, another one is created that keeps us in that focus on our immediate pleasure. Only ourselves in mind, others get in the way a lot.
For the professing Christian, the game plan can work against him. It can set aside the complete and absolute surrender to the living personal God. Only complete surrender to our Lord can make our game plans world toys, suddenly unimportant. Many times Jack has been told to do things, say things perhaps or just go somewhere and quite a few times Jack argues with the Living God. The Lord is gentle with him but very insistent. Patient.
Jack’s worldly game plan was high gas mileage! Until that goal of adding several tenths of a mile was revealed as absurd, he kept to it. Resenting other motorists for being foolish for rushing stop signs and tail gating he began to understand how selfish and isolating he was being. Now Jack can see anxious people in many different circumstances. Driving, shopping, manning a public help desk, many other places where Jack has contact and influence to help. To understand the game he was playing was dominating every thing he did. His obsession with efficiency now has been replaced. Now it’s how he can make life easier for other people, most of them strangers. A life long game plan that will have eternal pleasure generating the immediate joy now and forever.
He still makes plans, but they are short and usually simple. Shopping or writing. With the often gentle presence of the Lord, the plan is given. Jack feels the difference when it’s Jesus’ plan.
It’s a real ‘game changer’. Going to the bank the other day was rewarding. There was a young woman taking all the attention of the two tellers. It was a drama of passwords and ex boyfriends. Complicated. With complete ease, Jack began looking about and found a table with a sporting magazine collection. Sitting in a very comfortable chair he began to read about the expansion of copper in firing chambers.
Once the problem at the teller window was solved, Jack was called up. Profuse apologies were given and Jack made sure that he was very comfortable and not in any hurry. “It’s OK, I found a good magazine over there, I kind of wanted to take it home!” Jack wanted to make sure of their comfort. As a bonus, there was a random survey on Jack’s computer about the transaction. Five stars all the way. I wonder if they hit a button to see if everything was OK and sent the message. No problem. It’s a new game plan. Firm affirmation. Jack’s new focus is on his Creator that shows him these small things. Taking chances when told to instead of retreating. Knowing what to say occasionally after a delightful quick chat with an absolute stranger, “you’re a Christian aren’t you” Sometimes Jack is then asked “how do you know?” “Because it shows” he answers. It’s pretty good. Jack