The Game of Life

August 22, 2012 - 5:00 am

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” — Micah 6:8

Micah asks a huge question:  “What does the Lord require of you?” Why are we here? What’s the point of it all? Micah’s answer is brief. He sums it up in three little parts:  Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.

We can understand what it means to act justly. Society is based on a foundation of law and justice. The world cannot function with anarchy. There must be a clear distinction between good and bad, like black and white.

We can also understand what it means to love mercy. The world can function with justice, but it wouldn’t be a very nice place if we didn’t also love mercy. Our job is to make the world better by being kind to one another. Kindness gives the world its compassion.

But what does it mean to “walk humbly with your God?” That one takes a bit more thought. My friend Mark shared with me a story that truly captures this idea.

Mark had recently become engaged. He and his fiancé had decided to make their engagement period meaningful by doing one extra act of kindness, every day until their wedding day. The only rule was that it had to be an act that they would not normally do.

One day, Mark found himself at the day’s end and he hadn’t yet done his good deed. He had just finished a workout, and now he sat in a locker room as the gym was about to close. What would he do? Who could he help? The room looked empty, but then he saw that he wasn’t alone. An older man sat hunched over on a bench far across the room.

Normally, Mark would have grabbed his things and left, but this time he walked over to the stranger. “Hi! How are you?” The man’s face lit up and the two spoke for a few minutes about their lives. Then the man said something that would stick with Mark forever:  “In all of the years that I have come to this gym, no one has ever spoken to me. Until today. You know, most people think that life is played out on center stage. But the game of life is really played in the corners, where no one is looking. Those moments define us. We just played life.”

To walk humbly before God means to walk with God in the places where no one is looking. We are all inclined to look our best when all eyes are on us. But how do we behave when we are alone? Or just with our spouse? Or with one stranger?

When no one is looking, God is watching. Those are the moments that matter most, and that is our opportunity to walk humbly with Him.


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