It is one of those annoyingly addictive games that I have downloaded on my iPad.
Simple enough. All you have to do is connect the dots of the same color together and make them go away. Connect a group in a square and all the dots of that color go away.
Easy enough! Even for me! Maybe that is why I find myself sitting at night while watching TV trying to get a higher score.
See that is the goal—to get a higher score. It isn’t to make sure they all line up, that the yellow dots are all gone. The goal is to get the highest score possible.
It is important to remember that.
But it raises an important question. What is the goal of what you are doing?
The other morning I listened to Scott Simon on Weekend Edition. He was talking with Joe Nocera about an incident that happened recently at American Airlines. It seemed that the pilots and flight attendants were given a small raise, because after all, the airline is making a profit. But Wall Street rebelled! The price of the stock fell because the goal is to “maximize shareholder value.” And you thought it was to get you from point A to point B safely and efficiently!
The conversation was enlightening. All of us who have a particular stock, or even a mutual fund that has invested in the company, want to stock to rise. I do want to retire someday! But is that the ultimate goal? What about the workers? What about the passengers? (I think about this every time I try and wedge myself into the shrinking seats and get my small cup of coke to go with my peanuts.) What about the communities that once relied on contributions from the company to support the symphony, the hospital, the Boy Scouts?
What is the bottom line? What is the goal?
What is the goal for church?
I thought about that because I was heading to church listening to the show. We were going out in the community for a day of service. The next morning we would have worship. We would pass the offering plates. We would hope that people left with a deeper spirituality, a closer relationship with God. We hoped someone would join.
But what is the goal?
How do our “shareholders” want, expect?
More people in the seats?
More offering in the plates?
More people doing good stuff?
More people “dedicating their lives to full-time Christian service?
More people walking the aisles?
What is the goal? For the congregation? For the minister?
It is a hard question to answer, but perhaps one with which we all need to wrestle. It really is more than a night-time diversion. It may be the most important thing we do!