This precious “baby” boy of mine celebrated a big birthday on Saturday. His one birthday gift request? This enormous board game he’s been eyeing at the hobby shop, “Axis & Allies” (circa 1981), which depicts WWII on a grand scale. It comes complete with a world map board, infantry, armor, fighters, bombers, battleships, aircraft carriers, submarines, troop transports, anti-air guns, and factories. As a family, we made the trip, and the investment, in this giant game about war, to celebrate our boy who is fascinated by the stories of history.
The night we brought it home, it took over an hour just to set up the first two teams in all their proper locations, according to the instructions.
Being the history buff, that I am not, during the subsequent re-setup, when I started feeling a bit overwhelmed by the intensity, I decided to go rogue. I couldn’t handle all the strategy and the planning and the intention that was so obviously required to have a well-placed military line up. So I started dropping my fighters on other team’s aircraft carriers. I planted my subs right in the middle of their fleet (in THEIR harbor). I’d sneak an anti-aircraft weapon onto their landing zone and stand one of my infantry guys right on top of their military base.
At first, it was ruckus laughter.
“Mom clearly doesn’t understand the rules of war!” Then when I persisted, in spite of having the “rules” explained over and over again, they laughed less. I laughed more. To me, it became a game of “Where’s Waldo” to see if they could tell which piece was out of place. Tears were rolling down my cheeks when they would discover my shenanigans and try to discipline me with a firm look and then bust out laughing. Eventually, they would simply remove my piece from play and carry on with their business.
Something about having that game laid out on the table seems fitting today.
It’a an obvious reminder that all throughout history, there are stories of humans fighting for freedom. The battles may look different on every front, but the stakes are always the same. People want power.
People want to be free.
It’s the never-ending “game” of humanity. Even on this day, while we celebrate our independence, there is still just a giant rumble in our hearts in the fight for true freedom, for all. If we’re paying attention, its a rumble that will always be there. And yet, the enormity of the world’s grief can be overwhelming if we feel like we have to try to solve it all at once.
Sometimes you just need a little break to “go rogue”.
You do the good work. You fight the good fight, for those who can’t fight for themselves. Do justice. Love kindness (mercy). Walk humbly.
And then, you must rest.
Invite in gratitude, joy, and celebration.
Go rogue today.
Replenish your soul.
I hope you get a little bit of that in your life today as you gather with the ones you love to celebrate our cherished freedom.
to more love,