So last night, I was at a New Year’s Eve party. As it was nearing midnight, someone thought it would be fun to play a “What Happened in 2015” trivia game. Since I enjoy trivia, I thought, “Hey, that sounds like a good idea!”
But one question was, “What magazine named Caitlyn Jenner woman of the year?” Another was “What show won the Emmy for best drama?” Answer: Game of Thrones. Still another question was “What major Supreme Court decision came down this year?” I doubt I need to tell the answer.
What I thought would be a fun trivia came soon became depressing! I actually said out loud, “Boy, 2015 was a lousy year!”
Mentally, I started playing a new game—the Blame Game.
However, as my mind was pointing fingers in all directions, God came along and did something unexpected. He grabbed my finger, twisted it around, and pointed it right back into my puffed out chest. His message to me? “Mark, you are to blame for much of what happened in 2015.”
He’s right, you know.
The fact is that I am to blame. The fact is that in 2015 I spent more time praying about my back pain than I did about the pain inflicted on the helpless. Too many times to count in 2015, I have beseeched the Lord to improve my son’s attitude while playing sports, yet I can count on one hand how many times I have asked the Lord to improve my own attitude…let alone improve the lives of the hurting, dying, and neglected.
I can tell you the top ten movies of the year, but I can’t tell you the top ten issues in my community. And, oh boy, I could go on and on about all the many reasons why my Philly sports teams were brutally bad in 2015, but I couldn’t tell you a single thing that I have done for the brutalized in 2015.
I amassed a fairly impressive 156-47 record in Trivia Crack in 2015, but my record against poverty and hunger is non-existent. I battled for hours against expert-level opponents in app after app in 2015, but I have not battled in prayer for those trapped in sin, lost in hopelessness, or drowning in despair.
I did little about any of it in 2015. Instead, I have wrapped myself comfortably in myself. Perhaps, in 2016, I should unwrap this small package that I have become. Perhaps, in 2016, it’s time that I became the gift God wants me to be for His world.
How about you? Are you with me?