For lovers of words, Boggle can prove to be either an exhilarating or extremely frustrating game. If you are unfamiliar with this game, the covered box of wooden cubes (engraved with letters on each face) is shaken at the beginning of each round. Players compete with one another to write down the greatest number of words that can be spelled from the letters exposed after the shaking process. The words must be formed using adjacent letters on the tray of cubes (diagonally, vertically, or horizontally, in any combination). The round is timed with a small hourglass, and duplicate words (listed by more than one player) are eliminated from the final word count. The challenge is to be able to see the words, particularly the less common ones, and write them down quickly. The cubes are then shaken again for the next round of play.
Just like a new round of Boggle, it seems our society has been undergoing a season of shaking. Many leaders have resigned their positions or moved into new positions. Organizations are undergoing re-structuring, and mission statements are being revised. Companies are learning to adapt to new types of markets and increasingly complex consumer expectations. Even the Body of Christ is being shaken as the Church attempts to reach a culture fraught with division and turmoil.
Clearly, we need fresh words of hope in the midst of this instability, as the strategies that served us well twenty years ago are falling short in the face of current challenges, whether in business or in ministry. Communication methods have been revolutionized, yet we somehow have lost the simplicity of ordinary friendships we enjoyed when life was not so turbulent or complex. In that sense, Boggle has a lesson to teach us. The words from the last round do not help us win points in the current round of life. Strategies that guaranteed success in the past do not motivate us (or anyone else) to take the initiative in today’s chaotic array of activities. We need NEW WORDS for this NEW SEASON!
Similarly, we need new pathways to reach new destinations; the old routes have been blocked by construction or, in some cases, are even closed. Just as I find myself needing to update the mapping program on my phone or in my car, I need the Lord to update His spiritual instructions for me to move toward the new destinations and goals He has appointed for me in this new season.
Interestingly enough, centuries ago, the prophet Isaiah spoke clearly about our need to see a fresh word and travel new roads: “Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18-19 NKJV
God, we DO need some fresh words for this bewildering, unfamiliar season. Sharpen our vision to SEE the new things You are doing and to recognize the words You are speaking to us. We want to follow Your directions!