My nieces made me do it.

The May Kingdom Fast was games. That’s easy for a girl who shies away from board games, card games or most any game of strategy. (Put me into a game of Taboo or Catch Phrase and watch out.)

I blame my brother-in-law Dick. He completely thrashed my siblings and me in Monopoly years ago. I never experienced anyone so ruthless. He showed no mercy. I think I cried. Other than Apples To Apples with the whole family a few Christmases ago and Saboteur with the family in Cairo last spring, I’m not sure I’ve played a game with him since. I usually walk away when he suggests one…and always if he’s making it up on the fly.

So I don’t play games very often, and I don’t currently live in the Arab World with a Live Dead team where game nights happen every few weeks. The extent of my games is some form of solitaire on my iPad while flying (boredom!) or a few runs of Minion Rush after a day in the office with people (introvert time!). Fasting games, no problem.

Until I arrived in Grand Rapids for Memorial Day weekend and faced my beloved nieces. Less than a day in Michigan and my fast was broken. I blame my nieces; their cuteness is irresistible. Before I realized it, they had me chasing them through the front yard in a game of “Flower Tag.” It’s your standard game of tag, except each person is a different flower that takes on human form. Ava was a snapdragon (it pinches while breathing pretend fire), Elizabeth a stinkweed (not really a flower, but a plant that allows her to stick her bum out), and I a tulip (it kisses cute nieces on the head with its two lips). Then there was the Oodles of Doodles at the cabin over the weekend. So much for that fast, but I trust Jesus hears the giggles of little girls and I know it’s OK.

The challenge this month as we fasted games was to fill game time with prayer time for unreached peoples.* My challenge was to fill a time slot that didn’t exist in my life. Like I said, I play games on airplanes and after a day of meetings in the office. Well, I haven’t been in the office much this month (I work from home) and I’ve been on four airplanes total. Since decompression from the office was unnecessary, that left me with flight time. On two of my four flights I fell asleep (oh well). But on the other two I turned off my phone and left my iPad in my bag and prayed my way through Arab World countries from Morocco to the Arabian Peninsula. It was a meaningful time as I thought about my friends in those countries and about the cities I’ve visited. Through the exercise I discovered prayer is a more productive use of time than playing Solitaire for an hour (duh).

Resolution: Take at least one flight segment to pray through the Arab World whenever I fly, and perhaps leave the iPad in the bag all the time to engage with the world, even if it’s just the few people sitting around me in the metal cylinder zipping through the sky at 600 miles per hour (use that as a conversation starter with your seat mate).

Next up – Restaurants: June’s Kingdom Fast is restaurants. This is less about saving money from eating out or ordering in. This is about intentionally and lovingly preparing food to share with friends and neighbors in your home. During this fast we want to increase our generosity and hospitality among friends and strangers. I was very excited for this fast until I realized I will only be home for three days in June. I need my creativity to kick in for this one.

*These prayers would be in addition to ones prayed during daily abiding time.

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