Wednesday, September 03, 2003


Have you ever read, The Game of Life and How To Play It, by Florence Scovell Shinn? It's a practical little book written in 1925 by an amazingly clear woman who understood that "the power of life and death is in the word," and "as a man thinketh, so shall he be."

Written in Christian terminology, The Game of Life shows us how what we say impacts, blocks, or twists what we create in our lives. The book found me in a Columbus, Indiana library about 10 years literally fell off the top shelf on my head when I was reaching for something else. I started to put it back because I didn't like the title (I first thought it was some kind of manipulative sales tool), but something prompted me to open it and look inside. The clarity of thought--the power of the word and the beliefs behind it--jumped right off the page. I knew I needed it. I checked it out and read it, and then I bought first one copies, and then many copies.

I've underlined and reread the book probably twice a year every year since. I'm called back to it when I get stuck in something in my life--the clarify of thought helps release me. I remember what to pray for and how to pray it--I remember how I get in my own way with the words I speak and the thoughts I hold, and it helps me dissolve them and get back into the nestle of God's arm.

I've been trying to hold on to a clear idea I gathered from Florence's book just a few days ago. The section was on taking responsibility for creating (in partnership with God) the highest ideal for my life. She said the only thing that gets in our way is a conflicting message or thought in our desire, our faith, or our words. So I began to work on the idea of congruence, and I came up with three questions that help me determine whether I'm all in line with what I think I want to create in my life:

  • What do I desire? (get a clear picture in my mind; confirm with God that it's right for me)

  • What do I believe about what I desire? (do I believe it's reachable? Do I believe it's God's will for my life? If not, go back to question 1)

  • What do I say about what I believe and desire? (do I go around saying, "it's too much for me," "there's no time," "I can't do it," "I'll never get there"? Those negative words and others diffuse the desire and the faith so that ultimately whatever I'm hoping for won't happen.)

  • That's what's on my mind today. I hope you desire good things, believe they can happen, and speak what you know about our faithful God who draws us ever closer in truth and in love. "And mercy and goodness shall follow us all the days of our lives, and we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." :) k

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