Visit to childhood home and thoughts of "The Game of Life"

Kathee and I returned last Thursday from a 15 day trip of 4,300 miles to:

  • Foley Alabama (to see a niece)
  • Inverness Florida (to see Kathee's brother)
  • Tallahassee Florida (we looked at houses - possible move)
  • Cincinnati Ohio
    • Drove by my childhood home in Delhi OH (5408 Alomar) (1960 to 1971)
    • Had breakfast and visited with Eric E, a friend from High School and College
    • Spent two days with Kathee's sister in Loveland OH
  • Onto Grand Rapids MI
    • Dropped in on Colorado friends in Centerville MI
    • Spent two days with cousins in Alto MI
    • Connected with friends in Byron Center and Walker MI
    • Saw cousins in Hastings MI
  • Finally we drove through the UP and onto Phlox WI to see Kathee's parents' graves and then home
The home on Alomar looks quite nice. When I lived there there were several large trees in the front, but otherwise about the same.

In my childhood we played many a board game  - on a hot Summer day we would be outside under a covered patio playing games like Monopoly, Stratego, Risk, Chess and The Game of Life. Of those games, Life as it was known, was infuriatingly simple and stupid:

The game attempts to mirror life events many people go through from going to college, raising a family, buying a home, working and retiring. The intent of the game is to have the most assets at the end of the game, assets are earned primarily by working and earning tokens with dollars amount on them. Additionally the first person to complete the course gets additional money tokens. There is a very linear board that you move along by spinning a wheel or landing on spaces that tell you to move to a specific space or forward or back. There are a handful of intersections where you can choose to go one direction or another but they ultimately have similar spaces and meet back up quickly. There are a handful of choices regarding insurance and investments but for the most part it is a game of luck.
The winner of Life is the one with the most assets (money) at the end. Having just retired (July) and Kathee having just retired (May) and being back at the old haunts made me think about that game and indeed about life itself.

For a Biblical perspective:
  • “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?" (Matthew 6:25)
  • And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” (Luke 12:15)
  • He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (John 3:36)
  • [Jesus] Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. (John 6:47)
  • whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. (James 4:14)
I observe that:

  • Things I had often thought important aren't important at all! Like:
  • How much one has saved for retirement (this is not to be taken as advice not to save and invest!)
  • Things like cars .. how nice one's house is ... et cetera are, in light of eternity, really nothing at all!

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