How many of you were pinball addicts back in the day? Boy did I know I few. I may not have been a fanatic, as some were, but in between rounds of Centipede and Pac-Man, I occasionally stole a game here and there. I loved the creative, albeit often corny, themed machine designs, and what’s better than the lights and sounds of a pinball game getting worked over? Sure brings back memories!
Think about that shiny silver sphere bouncing all over the place. Once the spring is sprung and the ball is launched on its way, the direction it takes is completely dependent on each surface it hits. The ball has no mind of its own. It has no strength or ability to change its own course or alter direction; it’s at the mercy of its environment. And then of course, there’s gravity – the downhill journey, when all other options are exhausted, and the ball drops quickly and helplessly into submission.
What if the ball had arms it could deploy at just the right moment? “STOP!!!!” it might proclaim, “this haphazard and mindless existence is NOT working for me and I am taking control of my destiny!”
A talking pinball Sherry? With arms? Really?
A pinball is actually the perfect metaphor for how many people exist today. Bounced around from situation to situation. Not in control. Not setting the pace for their lives and just accepting whatever is dictated to them. Can you see the danger in this? I think it’s terrifying!
Have you EVER felt this way?
What happens when you leave things to chance? When you quietly and complacently allow others to make decisions for you? When you only react to situations instead of deciding them?
- You forfeit ANY ability to be who God has called YOU to be.
- You lose the right to make your own choices.
- You hand over any opportunity to speak your mind.
- You succumb to whatever is handed to you.
- You lose your identity.
- You compromise the beliefs you subscribe to.
Aaron Tippin sings, “You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.”
If you only react to the influences around you, instead of initiating the action, you’ll also constantly be on the defense. And while you may believe you’re taking the path of least resistance by being agreeable and ‘going with the flow’, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment, bitterness and frustration in the long run.
You see, unlike the pinball, we DO have arms, so to speak, to stop us! God gave us a heart to feel with, a mind to use and a mouth to communicate with. He expects us to use them. We have a responsibility to him, and ourselves, to confidently stand up for what we believe in and not sway or cave on our morals, values and beliefs. Certainly we should compromise when appropriate, give consideration to suggestions and be respectful of others, but this doesn’t equate to always agreeing or laying down to be walked on.
1 Cor 16:13, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.”
God doesn’t call us to behave as doormats, continually getting trampled on, or act like a field of wheat, simply blowing and bending in whatever direction the wind goes.
Don’t let the pinball pandemonium run your life. Have the confidence to put your best foot forward, speak your mind and take a stand. Be courteous but firm. Allow God to work through you by using the abilities and gifts he has blessed you with.
What is a metaphor for how YOU tend to behave?
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