Tonight I did something amazing. I won my 300th game of Freecell (with a 100% win rate, I might add). I had a momentary feeling of “Yeah! Go me!” And then I paused a moment to wonder where I found all that time to play a computer game. Admittedly, I play about 95% of my Freecell—a solitare card game that comes standard with Windows, for those who don't know—after 9:30 pm. This is my 1-hour wind-down time before bed. It's a time when I might do a little bit of work (correspondence and such, although I try to avoid it because I get rather emotional and long-winded conversing about the populations I serve...and get geared up to solve all of the world's problems in one night), but I mostly read or sew or play computer games.
To be completely honest, I used to play a lot more computer games than I play now. I'd probably played about 250 of those Freecell games before I decided that computer games were distracting from my focus. What does that calculate to? Two hundred fifty souls who I could have told about the good news of Jesus? Two hundred fifty hurting women and children who I could have spoken words of hope? Two hundred fifty mouths I could have fed? Two hundred fifty what? Quite frankly, I'm a little embarrassed that I've hit three hundred, even though I know that I've changed my habits.
I know I'm not my job. I know I don't have to be a missionary 24/7. But I'm a missionary because it's what God called me to be, and God didn't call me to pull a 40-hour work week. I feel like I'm always “on call” so to speak. But it annoys me that people get caught up about missionaries and pastors. “Of course you're good. You're a missionary.” “Oh, I know you don't want to go to the party with us. You're a pastor. There will be alcohol there.” No, that's not who we are. It's not because we're missionaries and pastors; it's not because people scrutinize us more because of our callings. What we are are Christians, and sometimes that means going to the party because there will be alcohol. What kind of a friend, what kind of a sister am I if I let you go to that party where I know you'll be tempted? And if I can't deter you, I'd better go with you to say, “Hey, think about what you're doing. I'm here with you. Let's drink soda pop together, enjoy the music, and catch up on each other's lives.” Being a missionary (nor a pastor) isn't a 24/7 job. Being a Christian is 24/7, but it's not a job; it's a belief, a way of life, a way of being, a faith.
Who did those 250 (or even 300) games minister to? No one. For that, I'm ashamed. I know God forgave me for those games about 2000 years ago, but I'm going to try to make up for it. I know I'll never succeed, that there's nothing I can do to change my sin, but I do know that my sins have been forgiven and that I should “go and sin no more.”