It’s been quite some time since I’ve played a game on my cellphone with any regularity. During our time up north, however, I saw a word game advertised on Facebook and decided to give it a try. The game is called Wordscapes. The game is a crossword puzzle of sorts. The game provides you with a certain number of letters and boxes in which to place them in order to form a predetermined number of words.
As the game has progressed, I have been amazed at how many words can be created with a relatively small number of letters. As of the last time I played, only six letters were provided. Those six letters could be combined to form at least fifteen words of varying lengths. Some of the words almost pop off the screen at you, but others seem to hide in plain sight. What has been most surprising to me is that the simplest, most commonly used words are often the hardest to find. The longer it takes me to find another word, the more difficult I assume the word must be. It’s only after I return to the game after stepping away for a minute, I rearrange the letters, or after I ask for the help of a fresh set of eyes that the answer is found. I think the realities I have faced playing this game and the ways I have found the answers might be helpful when dealing with the issues of daily life.
- Step away for a minute. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the search for a solution. Often, answers come easy at the outset, but as time progresses the search for answers becomes itself a new problem. Sometimes, we simply need to step away for a minute to allow our mind to rest and regroup.
- Look at things from a different perspective. After working on a problem for a significant amount of time, we develop tunnel vision. In my game, I can push a button and it shuffles the letters. Sometimes, we need to consider new options that we haven’t considered before, even though they might be painfully obvious. The easiest, most obvious options are often the ones we miss.
- Ask for help. In our age of hyper independence, we often consider reaching out for help to be a sign of weakness. The reality, however, is admitting our weaknesses is actually a strength. We all need help from time to time. Don’t be afraid to turn to family, friends, and the good Lord Himself in times of trouble. A helping hand has a way of lightening the load and at times relieving it altogether.
I believe we see these principles at work in the life of Jesus. In Luke 5:16 it reads, “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places to pray.” Jesus, more than most, understood the benefit of stepping away for a while to reset and refocus. He understood the crushing weight of the problems of life and knew He needed to reach out for help. If Christ, being Himself God, needed to step away, refocus, and reach out for help, it is only reasonable to think that we will need to do the same.