Playing Jenga with our Lives

By Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB

I’ve been thinking about the game Jenga ever since our recent reading about the fool who built his house on sand.

Have you ever played Jenga? You start with a strong tower of wood blocks, removing the blocks, one by one, till it falls. Obviously, the loser is the one who causes the tower to fall.

I think Jenga is the perfect illustration of the house on the sand … and of how we dismantle our own lives when we don’t take care of each block. Think about it.

We think our lives are strong and solid, with God as our foundation. But … life gets complicated and busy. Without intending to, we effectively pull our own blocks out through neglect and inattention and unforgiving behavior. We don’t have time to pray? There goes one block. We speak unkind or harsh words to someone? There goes another. We’re too busy to get to Mass? There goes another. We don’t take – make! – the time for our family? There goes another.

Before we know it, our tower – our life – is weakening. God is still with us, of course, but our actions have created an unstable home.

When we find and follow the path God has for each of us – and it includes prayer, forgiveness, mercy, generosity – our tower is reinforced. God is always ready to help us rebuild it.

If you suspect your path is leading you to explore religious life, email me at Remember, just because you say Yes to exploring this path doesn’t mean you’re obligated to stay on it. I look forward to virtually meeting you and helping you in your discernment!!! 🙂

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