What Makes Games Fun?

(Written especially for young people)

`WHAT'S your favorite sport?'' I asked Craig, who was new on our street. ``Soccer,'' was his prompt reply. I have a question I like to ask when I'm talking about sports or other games. It's hard-- until you know the answer! ``OK,'' I said to him, ``suppose you're on the field. You have two teams, a soccer ball, coaches, even a referee--but you need one more thing or you can't have a game. Can you guess?''

``Ball?'' he ventured. ``Nope,'' I replied. ``You've got the ball.'' Craig was stumped. Here's a hint I gave him: ``It starts with * and has five letters.'' That didn't help. So I went on, ``Without it you can't have a game--only a mess. It makes games fun!''

He was even more baffled. ``Give up?'' I asked. ``Nobody else has guessed it right off, either.'' Craig was popping with curiosity! ``What is it?'' ``Rules,'' I answered. ``But you really knew that, didn't you?'' He nodded. And I added, ``Rules make games fun. Without rules, games would be a mess. And that goes for everything else, too. So what makes life fun?''

``Rules?'' he ventured. He sat quietly on his bicycle for a few minutes, thinking about this remarkable fact. Then, wheeling around to head home, Craig flashed me a smile and said, ``Thanks for reminding me about rules.''

Did you ever think about how wonderful rules are? What would busy street corners be without stop signs or traffic lights? A mess! Sometimes it seems as if certain people make rules for the rest of us. But there are rules that go deeper than that. These rules make our lives happy and good because they are based on God's law. The Ten Commandments, in Exodus, are a good example of the way the Bible tells us about God's law. These are rules everybody needs to follow! God's law is like God: absolutely good, all the time, for everyone.

No one knew that better than Christ Jesus. He knew that God is our heavenly Father and is the real lawmaker. Luke's Gospel in the Bible tells us that Jesus taught God's law. For example, Jesus reminded his listeners: ``Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself'' (10:27).

Jesus kept this law, not because he was afraid of God--for who can be afraid of a loving Father?--but because he loved God, good, with all his heart. And we can follow his example!

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, recognized that it was Jesus' sonship with God and his wonderful understanding of God and His law that entitled him to be called Christ Jesus. She writes in her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, ``Jesus represented Christ, the true idea of God'' (p. 316). Each of us also can express to some degree this Christ nature. We too are children of God; our love of good proves it.

Maybe you're wondering: if God's law is good, why are there so many wrongs? Well, the rules of arithmetic are correct, and everyone is taught them in school. Then, why do people make mistakes? You know the answer--people sometimes don't follow the rules. There's nothing wrong with the rules themselves.

Staying alert to rules, and practicing them, is as important in life as it is to arithmetic or soccer. Every game you play, every chore you do at home, every test you take at school, gives you an opportunity to express good intelligently.

Good rules not only make games fun--but life, too!

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