“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.” -Colossians 2:8
It was many years ago as a teenager, sitting on the deck of a small mountain cabin on a warm sunny day. The pine trees whispered quite nothings as the gentle breezes passed through their green needles. Around the sturdy redwood picnic table sat my family and I. It was early afternoon, and before us was the game board. To be exact it was a Monopoly game board. My parents, brothers, and little sister would take turns laughing and playing this game for hours at a time. This was all part of our yearly summer trek to Lake Tahoe on a family vacation. Dad was pretty good and won his share of games…but as we kids got older, and started to figure it out, he had to work a lot harder to stay in the game with us.
For those not familiar with this classic game, each player would be given the same starting amount of cash, and a playing piece. We all started from the same place. Players in turn would roll a pair of dice and move their piece around the perimeter of the board a corresponding number of squares. The squares depicted property with an associated sales price. In simplest terms, the winner was the person who purchased the most property and had the most cash at the end of the game.
Along the way however, there were two types of squares one could land on that were called “Chance” and “Community Chest.” Landing on these squares required the player to draw a card of the same name from one of two card decks placed on the board. The cards contained either good news or bad news. A player might have to pay some type of tax, or perhaps they would receive a bonus. Fortunes could be changed depending upon these occasional random cards one might get. One particular card was a “Get of Jail Free Card.” Coveted because one square was a “Go directly to Jail” square, and getting out of Jail cost something.
Once in “Jail” a player would no longer be able to participate in the regular goings on of the game. Opportunities were missed while everyone else who was not in jail played and enjoyed the challenges faced during each turn. But having a “Get out Of Jail” card was the ticket to freedom and the ability to enjoy the game to its fullest without missing a turn.
Many years later, as my son and I played this game during a Thanksgiving Holiday break, I pondered how much life was a bit like a game of Monopoly. We all start as captives (Romans 5:12) held firmly in the grip of our fallen nature. As a result, while yet captives; we cannot enjoy the life that God designed us to enjoy. He desires for us to live our lives to the fullest, (John 10:10) but as captives we cannot. Unless of course we had a supernatural “Get out of Jail” card. In this case we do! His name is Jesus. Only He can give us lasting eternal freedom from captivity.
You see, God loves each of us…in fact He pursues each of us with a passion that goes beyond anything we can describe in mere words. (John3:16) And if we respond to his gentle voice, we can each have a personal relationship with Him. That relationship is what will set us free to live our lives to the fullest each day. Rather than roll the dice of life and rely upon chance and our own strength, why not go with a sure thing and receive Jesus into your life right now? Start the healthiest relationship you will ever have, be free and live your life as God intended for you to live it…to the fullest!