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Real Answers™
kl1
Copyright: © Oct. 2007 Ken Lottis
695 words

LOSE THE GAME, BOY

By: Ken Lottis

It’s F season. F meaning Football.

It’s that time of year when much of the male population (note: also a growing percentage of the female population) in our nation can be found in front of a television set, totally disconnected from the rest of reality, watching a football game. Weekend chores are postponed. Homework goes un-done. Wives, girl friends, and other human beings who don’t like football are ignored. Snubbed. They become invisible.

It reminds me of an experience I had a few years ago with my nine year old grandson.  It started with a phone call. “Grampa, I am calling about the coupons you gave me for my birthday.” Continuing a practice I started with my own sons, I had given him several “coupons” for his birthday. The coupons could be exchanged for things like “some ice cream at the Dairy Queen” or “breakfast at the Pancake House,” something that we would do together. Just the two of us.

He had called about a coupon good for “a hamburger, fries and soft drink at the place of your choice.” We discussed the different places he had in mind, and we set a date for our outing.

When I arrived to pick him up he was ready and waiting. Even had his hair combed. As we drove away, I asked the first of several questions I had prepared. After several moments of silence I got only a mumbled response, “Aahhh, grampa, I can’t talk right now. I’m in the middle of a game.” A quick glance in his direction revealed the problem. He was hunched over his Game Boy, his fingers drumming the buttons with blazing speed and dexterity.

After a few minutes I spoke again, “Hey good buddy, I had a couple of things I wanted to talk about with you. Can you put the Game Boy away?”

Silence, then another mumbled reply, “Aahhh, grampa, just a minute until I finish this game.” Turned out to be several minutes. In fact we were in the parking lot of the restaurant when he looked up to say, “OK, I’m done.” I diplomatically suggested that the Game Boy could stay in the glove compartment while we had our lunch.

In between mouthfuls of hamburger, fries and a Coke, we managed to get into a couple of topics relating to his school, his soccer team, and his Sunday school class at church. As we headed back out to the car, our conversation seemed to be picking up speed. I was encouraged. But then I made a careless mistake.

I opened the passenger door and let him climb into the front seat. By the time I got around the car and behind the wheel, he’d retrieved the Game Boy from the glove compartment and had started a new game. I conceded my loss. We drove home in silence.

Later as I reflected on that experience, I realized how much I am like my grandson in my relationships with others, and not only just when football season rolls around. All it takes is for me to get immersed in the newspaper, a book, or surfing the Internet and I retreat into a mental cave, isolating myself from those around me. I often find myself sitting in church, totally disconnected from the pastor’s sermon, thinking about my schedule for the week ahead.

So it comes as no surprise that I would treat God in the same way. To show His love for me, God has given me a huge collection of “coupons.” His promises and invitations are scattered throughout the Bible, indicating His interest in spending time with me, listening to me and speaking to me through the Scriptures. In the very first pages of Genesis says,  "Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day...".  He hasn’t changed. He still wants to be with me.

But like my grandson, I’m busy with my “Game Boy,” which could be a crossword puzzle, a library book or a football game on television. It’s then that I need to listen to that inner voice that tells me, “Lose the game, boy.”

"Real Answers™" furnished courtesy of The Amy Foundation Internet Syndicate. To contact the author or The Amy Foundation, write or E-mail to: P. O. Box 16091, Lansing, MI 48901-6091; amyfoundtn@aol.com

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