March 1, 2023 @ 7:00 AM

(originally published in March 2016)

Ever played “Whack-a-Mole?” You probably have if you have taken your children to Chuck E. Cheese. Whack-a-Mole is a very physical game in which the player gets a mallet and whacks the moles who pop up at random out of one of their seven holes (see photo). The game seemingly goes on ad nauseum until the timer runs out and no more moles pop up to whack. It is a fun but stressful game. Your adrenalin begins to flow because you have to be ready at all times to pound the daylights out of those moles and you never know from which hole they’ll appear.

There are people who live “Whack-a-Mole” lives. They live from crisis to crisis. Their lives are stressful. They never know when the next crisis will appear. Will it be a health crisis of a family member? Will it be a relationship crisis with a child or a spouse? Will it be a job crisis, a church crisis, a financial crisis? The crises keep popping up and just about the time one is whacked on the head and driven down another one appears. It’s a stressful, unhealthy, unbiblical way to live.

Unfortunately many live their lives that way, bouncing from crisis to crisis. It seems like some people are energized by crises in their lives and don’t function well unless they are in crisis mode. They need crises. God doesn’t. God NEVER has a crisis. He is omniscient and omnipotent. Nothing catches Him off guard. God never says, “Oops!” or “Oh no!” God does all things decently and in order. The Bible declares that “God is not a God of confusion but of peace as in all the churches” (1 Corinthians 14:33).

So what is the answer for those leading “Whack-a-Mole” lives? The way to exit that kind of life is to stop letting life control you. You need to start controlling life. Can you do that? Yes you can.  Emergencies will inevitably arise but with proper planning and boundaries everything is not an emergency. To avoid functioning in crisis mode you need to decide if you have to solve this problem or is this somebody else’s problem to solve and, if you tackle it, you’re depriving them of the opportunity to solve it.

I don’t play the “Whack-a-Mole” game when I’m at Chuck E. Cheese or in my life,