The Forever Game
He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. Romans 2:6-8
Not long ago, I sat down for an interview with The Forever Game Podcast (I’ll include the Facebook link below). The name of their podcast – The Forever Game – caught my attention and during the interview, I was asked what the name meant to me. I’ve been thinking about that for a while, and when I read today’s passage, I realized that the apostle Paul addressed what I saw as the meaning of the title. So, what follows is my interpretation of The Forever Game.
I’ve always had a problem with when and what I live for. I have two wills. I have those things I want in the long run – I want to live a good life, be a good husband/father, be healthy, lose weight, etc… Then, however, I have those things that I want right now. Right now, I want to be selfish, eat junk food, and be lazy. The problem is that I usually choose the right now thing, because immediate gratification is far easier.
Living for now requires no sacrifice, but usually is painful later. Living for long term goals requires sacrifice up front with a reward that may not be realized for some time. If I want to be in shape for a marathon next year, I need to sacrifice now – eating right and training – so I can reap the reward later. Right now, though, I want to sit on the couch and eat donuts. Again, there’s always a painful price to pay later with immediate gratification – in this example, I gain weight and fail at my marathon goal – but often that pain doesn’t deter me because I’m so short-sighted.
This isn’t just about donuts and marathons though. This is about our lives. Do we live simply for our own appetite and immediate gratification? Or do we choose to do what’s right, living for God and eternity? As Christians, we believe that our souls are forever. That means that there are things we do now which have eternal meaning. When we live for immediate gratification, we invest only in that which cannot last. When however, we love our neighbors, help those who are struggling, and when we follow God, not ourselves, we find authentic life, joy, and peace in living for eternity. That, Paul says, is the only way to win the forever game.
Here’s the link to a brief clip from the interview. You may have to copy and paste in your browser. Follow the link to find the full podcast.