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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Game of Life (09/11/08)

TITLE: Family Game Night
By Lauryn Abbott


“Hi Mom,” said Chelsea, as she walked into the kitchen.

“Oh hi, Sweetheart, you’re home early,” said Angela as she looked up from the dinner she was preparing.

“Yeah, practice was short cause of the rain” Chelsea responded. “Know what I was thinking about?”

“Nope, what were you thinking about?” asked Angela as she continued to work on dinner.

“I was thinking about family game night. Why’d we ever stop playing?”

“Well, I guess it’s because you kids started growing up, and hanging out with your friends became more important to you. Why do you ask?”

“I dunno. Me and Rachael were talking about it and it sorta got me thinking. I mean, I thought about us all playing and having fun and stuff, but then one thought led to another, then another, then another. Does that ever happen to you?” Chelsea asked.

“Yep, rabbit trails,” answered Angela as she closed the oven door and set the timer. She looked at Chelsea and saw the blank look on her face. Laughing, she said, “All the different thoughts, one leading to another without rhyme or reason – rabbit trails. So where did these rabbit trails lead you?”

“Well, I started thinking about how life was like a game, except for real.”

“Ok, you got me. Explain your theory,” Angela said as she sat down.

“Ok, everyone starts out at the same place – like birth. And you move through the game, or life, and there are rules that have to be followed, and some people cheat, but most don’t. And sometimes it’s like you lose a turn, but it’s really a chance – like when Todd got hurt at the game and the scouts were there to see him, but he was hurt, so he didn’t get the football scholarship. Know what I mean?”

“So, Todd getting hurt and losing his opportunity for a scholarship is similar to losing a turn? Ok, I get it.” Angela was surprised at how excited Chelsea seemed to be. “Go on.”

“Sometimes things just happen, like it’s a roll of the dice – you know, kind of random. And sometimes you could fall behind and try to catch up, like Todd has to do now with his grades, and other times it’s like you’re kind of ahead, like if he’d of gotten his scholarship. Does that make sense?” Chelsea was now rather animated, talking with her hands.

“Definitely,” Angela replied, intrigued by this conversation that seemed to be more mature than her daughters seventeen years.

“Sometimes you get help, you know, like those ‘opportunity’ cards that’ll move you further along, like if you got an inheritance or something…”

“An inheritance? Do you know something I don’t know?” Angela laughed.

“No, but you know what I mean. Or you can think you’re getting ahead pretty good, then bam, out of nowhere something happens like when Mr. Jones lost his job and then they lost their house. That was really terrible, huh?”

“Yeah, it was. I didn’t realize you knew about that,” Angela said showing her surprise.

“Uh, I probably hear more than you think. Don’t ask. Anyway, it seems like there’s a lot of chance in life, just like there are in games, but with one big difference.” Chelsea said with a frown.

“What’s that?”

“Well, it seems like lots of people go through life like it is a game and they don’t realize that it’s for real and that whether you win or lose is a really big deal.”

“What do you mean?” Angela could see Chelsea was really serious about this.

“In life, like in a game, everyone either wins or loses. But in life you’re not playing against someone else, it’s just about whether you win or lose when your game is over. You know, when life is over. And if you win, it’s because you lived right and were a Christian and loved God and Jesus and you get to go to heaven. But if you lose, well, the game’s really up and if you’re not a Christian and you don’t care about God and Jesus, then you have to go to hell. What d’ya think?”

“Wow! I think that was deep and insightful. What a great analogy! You’re a pretty smart kid,” Angela answered.

“Thanks, I think so! So um, maybe we can have family game night again sometime?”

“You bet! How about tonight?”

“Sorry, can’t, Todd and I have a date,” Chelsea answered as she grabbed an apple and walked out of the kitchen.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 09/18/08
I agree, games nights are fun. The "rabbit trail" led Chelsea to some great thoughts. Your ending made me smile.."Sorry, can't, Todd and I have a date." :) This was a fun/wisdom-filled story. Thanks!
Patricia Turner09/20/08
Glad your mc got to have this insightful conversation with her teenager - that can be hard to do. A good story full of wisdom from the mouth of "babes".
Shelley Ledfors 09/24/08
I love the dialogue between mom and daughter here. I laughed at the line,
"Uh, I probably hear more than you think. Don’t ask. Anyway..." --Sounds just like something my son would say (and we have conversations like this all the time...probably more so than many because he's home schooled). I loved Chelsea's insights. Very nice entry!
Chely Roach09/24/08
Great dialogue...and Chelsea is wise beyond her years! Wish that were the case for all 17yos, lol! Great job.
LauraLee Shaw09/24/08
Very insightful piece, and soooooo true.
Joshua Janoski09/24/08
Wow. That was about the most perfect analogy of life that I have ever read. I can see now why people do refer to it as "The Game of Life." It really is like a game.

You made an excellent point that winning this game is serious, and only God has the ticket to the winner's circle. We are playing for keeps, so we better make every move count.

Great entry!