I’m the biggest game-lover I know, and I had never heard of this game that everyone else in the room loved. I knew it was a trap.
They explained to me that WE play by ME leaving the room, THEM making up a dream I would have in the night, then ME guessing the beginning, middle, and end of the dream by asking yes or no questions.
I knew what was going to happen. I’m going to come back in and pull questions out of thin air to figure out a story that you never made up. Then you are going to answer “yes” or “no” based on an unknown code like “yes” if I said um or “no” if I folded my hands or “yes” if my question ends in a particular letter.
To me, this is not a game – it’s a prank on the one who has never played said game, and a complete disregard for good competition.
Since I knew I had the potential to get frustrated, and I wanted to keep these people as friends, I asked for my 2 roommates as partners and told them as little as possible in order to salvage some of the fun for the others.
When the “story was ready,” we entered the room and began to ask yes or no questions.
I began by trying to figure it out, analyzing everything I said or did while looking for their resounding yesses or nos. I wasn’t even trying to make up a story. I only cared about solving the code.
We got nowhere, and our “story developers” got bored.
So, then I had my roommate keep talking while I analyzed the responses she illicited from the group. The game did not progress, and they waited patiently.
I finally realized that the only way out was to give em a story.
My strategy became – be as ridiculous and childlike as possible. What I didn’t expect was how much fun I would have, how successful I would feel, and that I’d laugh harder than ever!
Once I switched strategies, we “won”! We resolved “the” story.
5 Bethel students asleep were convinced that there was a shortage of turkeys and charged into outer space with metal rods and light sabers only to find that the aliens had no jewels in their heads to knock off with metal rods, but the aliens were also upset about the shortage of turkeys. Instead of fighting, they took up swing dancing (and we all know what swing dancing leads to…). 3 pregnant turkeys came on the scene, gave birth during the dance party, there was no more shortage of turkeys, and the aliens and Bethel students had a peace party at Red Robin.
It was like I won and lost at the same time with that story.
They had us tell the story into a recorder and promised to then play the original story back to us.
They took the phone, clicked a couple buttons, and handed it back only for us to hear our own voices telling our own story.
They exclaimed, “There was no dream story. We answered ‘yes’ or ‘no’ based on [I’m not revealing this secret in case you’re next]…. You made up the story!”
It wasn’t till I gave up trying to “figuring it out” that I was able to actually have fun and become a master story teller.
In a conversation with a friend later, we realized life is way more like this game than the five year plan with 1.5-year benchmarks like I thought.
I used to be constantly stuck trying to figure out my future. I had it down to a science with key factors of prophetic words + life season + my history + my resources. Time and time again, my planning was frustrating, slow, and wrong, yet when I just lived life, I watched it unfold differently than expected, but always awesomely.
Don’t get me wrong. Some things make sense, and the Lord reveals aspects of life, yet sometimes it feels like I have the clues “light sabers, aliens, swing dancing, and turkeys” and still don’t know the beginning, middle, and end of the story.
Then recently, I quit trying to figure out the code of how I got all these pieces, and I chose to keep moving forward with guessing the story. I quit assuming God has a perfectly mapped out plan for my life that I need to figure out each day and I realized that life is not about figuring out your future, but living in your present.
No’s aren’t failure, and yesses don’t mean you’ve figured out the whole story, but the crazier the questions I can ask of the Lord on my journey, the crazier my story may become.
I can’t help but consider people in the Bible who had some crazy stories. God did what He needed through their lives, but the journey getting there could have looked so many different ways! Click here for this blog, Part 2.