There was a lot of whispering around the water cooler. My supervisor was a candidate for Vice President of the department. Many asked, “Was she qualified?” Others thought, “There has never been a woman in this position before,” and “Is she even suitable for the task?” Although there were at least four other candidates, she was chosen to carry the torch of Vice President. Never had I been so proud of my boss of three years. My coworkers and I had a big celebration dinner filled with joy and plenty of gifts to honor her new-found success. Finally, her hard work had paid off and she was headed for bigger and better things.
After the initial excitement died down, I was hit with the news that there would now be a few more additional changes. Although the promotion was a wonderful achievement, I never considered that I would no longer report to my fearless leader. As she moved up the corporate ladder, there was now a new vacancy in the department and things were about to shift. Her current position needed to be filled and I needed a new supervisor.
There was again a lot of whispering around the water cooler. “Who would be the candidate for the new position?” “Would that person be as qualified as my last supervisor?” and “Is this person going to be suitable for the task?” Many candidates began to come into the office. With each interview, anxiety began to build and an unseen dark cloud began to fill the atmosphere. My work environment was encompassed with a state of worry and fear of the unknown. Finally, a new candidate was hired and things began to change.
Through this experience, I realized three things: God is sovereign, change is inevitable and worry and fear is the absence of faith and trust. I often wonder why God sometimes never fully discloses the stipulations of his blessings. For example, even when there is a promotion, we often lose things in the process in order to grow. As God takes us to higher heights and deeper depths, we may lose some friends along the way and may have to endure a lot of negative “whispers” and our faith may be challenged. We may feel uncomfortable at times, but we cannot let fear overtake our hearts, because even though our situation may transform, there is a time and season for every change and this too shall pass.
We must fully trust God that our outcome will be in our favor and even when we go through the process of not knowing the future, there should be a reassurance that God is in control. God encourages us in the book of Deuteronomy 31:6 to “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” He also reminds us in 1 Peter 5:7, to “Cast all our anxiety on Him, because He cares for us.” God is with us, through the journey of moving into the blessings He has prepared for us. He is with us when people speak words filled with questions of doubt and uncertainty and He is with us through the midst of change. Leave the unknown results to God, and never fear the outcome of moving forward.
I am a child of the 80s. I grew up in the world of Reagan, Rubik’s cubes, and Teddy Ruxpin. MacGyver is a verb, and “Whatca talkin’ bout Willis” has replaced the understated, “What?” I am most likely the last of the last generation to know the joy of playing outside all day, taking the bike for a ride to a neighbor’s house, which in those days encompassed any house within the neighborhood or the next one over. We might have called home throughout the day, but for the most part, we knew to check in for lunch and be back by dark or when you heard the whistle kept by the back door blown by your mother. Then America’s Most Wanted hit the airwaves, and the dangers of the world seemed closer and the parameter of our playgrounds got smaller.
About that same time electronics were taking off and if you grew up in the 80s you can hear music from an old school game and see it in your mind. I personally didn’t play many video games, I do remember Texas Instruments and TI Invaders; we had a blast playing it. My cousins had Duck Hunt; which was fun aside from the smug dog, and I remember watching them play Mario Brothers. For the most part though, I was disinterested, I’d rather watch Webster.
I say I was disinterested in video games for the most part because one game, Tetris, has been a gift to my life. A puzzle, beat the clock, hand- eye coordination all rolled into one; a skill for life. You have a crapload of boxes to fit in a small car? Tetris skills to the rescue. That, and my dad is a champion at packing a car. You alright! I learned it by watching you! You need to rearrange your day to fit it all in? Tetris skills again! I had a job as a nanny for a woman who on one occasion was going to a special event at her daughter’s preschool then continuing on to work. With only one car seat, she wasn’t sure how she was going to take her daughter to school and get the seat back to me so I could pick up her daughter after school. I said, we can follow you, you can go into school with your daughter, and I’ll have the seat to pick her up when school is over. She was super impressed with my “good thinking under pressure.” I was convinced if that woman had played Tetris as a kid, she would have come to the same conclusion.
My point is, so few times can we say that games we’ve played as children have equipped us with tools for life. Monopoly is punishment, Connect four is fun until it isn’t, Uno is the gateway game to gambling, and Tetris is a skill set for problem solving without the annoying music. Over the years I’ve seen countless times when I’ve played the game in real life. Bills, schedules, priorities; each time I am the player and the pieces need to be moved to fit just right. As with all things, sometimes things end up tidier than others. That’s life.
I was recently thinking about some things going on and praying about them. I found myself praying about my situations and thinking as though I was looking at the Tetris screen with God, imagining us working on the items together. As the pieces started filling up and the top of the screen was getting closer and closer my anxiety grew greater and greater, and then I felt the gentle kindness of God letting me know that I was not in the right spot. So, as any adept Tetris player would, He moved me around until I fit properly into the game. He has the perspective I cannot see, He knows what pieces are coming next, He created the pieces that are coming next, and He is in no way anxious about any of it.
I so often forget that God is molding me, changing me, flipping me upside down and sideways, and whatever way He wants to get me to fit into His plan. I may not like it, and I may not see the whole picture, but I see the One who is manipulating those pieces, and He is good and trustworthy, and kind.
I want to be sensitive to the fear or apprehension of some reading this who may think I am implying God is in some way a cosmic bully who pushes us into the corners He wants us to be in when He wants us in them. I do not believe God operates that way as an MO. I believe there are times God may force the issue through life circumstances, but I really believe all along the way He gently and kindly is asking us to join Him on the journey. If we are listening, we are stepping in time with His requests and we feel more like we’re dancing than being pushed around.
Tetris as worship? It is for me.