Remember Minesweeper? Now an outdated, comparably low-tech computer game, Minesweeper used to be an entertaining way to pass time. The goal was simple – don’t get blown up by a mine. The player would click buttons on a grid, revealing whether or not a mine was underneath each one. The game would continue until the player “stepped on” a mine or successfully located the mines without triggering an explosion.
What does this have to do with anything? It seems like death has been all over the place recently. Almost daily I’ve heard reports of deaths from illness, old age, and unexpected events. As this continues to happen, my default perspective looks kind of like Minesweeper.
It’s easy to believe I’m one step away from catastrophe, and the more tragedy I see around me feels like an indication that calamity is closing in on my loved ones and me. This perspective creates unhealthy, blinding paranoia as the façade of control begins to fade.
When I live my life paranoid of potential disaster, I miss out on so much. I miss out on savoring the present. I miss out on trusting God with the future. I miss out on the freedom that flows from trust in His goodness. And I miss out on the rest that comes with acknowledging His sovereign, loving control.
The sovereignty of God isn’t anything like Minesweeper. Tragedy isn’t necessarily lurking under one of several buttons waiting to destroy me in a matter of time. God’s mercies are new every morning. There will not be a single day of my life for which the grace of God is not sufficient. But today’s mercies are for today, not tomorrow. I am guilty of trying to apply present grace to a hypothetical future, but it doesn’t work that way.
Worry requires an enormous investment with no return. In the business world, no one would accept that deal. But in the personal realm, it’s easy to spend my energy fearing that which is beyond my control. As Jesus said, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:27).
Rather than live in a constant state of panic with a Minesweeper outlook on life, I want to fix my eyes on Jesus, confident that He is wholly good, completely trustworthy, and incapable of making a mistake. And as my joy is more tightly anchored to Jesus and less dependent on my circumstances – actual or hypothetical – I pray the words of John Piper will become a personal reality: “Christ is glorified in me when people see He is more precious to me than all that life can give or death can take.”
May it be so, Lord.