Life Lessons from Survivor – continued!

Lesson 6: Natural elements and wild animals affect everyone.

All of the Survivor episodes are in beautiful, warm places near a body of water. Some are by the beach, others are by a lake. All are gorgeous. However, with all of the beauty come crazy looking insects, lots of wild animals, wind, rain, the blistering sun and no conveniences whatsoever. It is rough. Some of the contestants are little affected by all of it, even as they slowly lose weight from lack of food. Others just can’t deal and withdraw, wishing themselves out of the game. Guess who ends up in the running with those who end up winning?

Life is hard. This does not take a rocket scientist to figure out. However, in our culture today, there are many who believe certain people have privileges that others do not. Is that accurate? Obviously, sometimes, yes. But one thing is also true – the same sun that shines down for plants to grow can also harden the ground and prevent it from bearing fruit. Challenges in life are inevitable, and life can be difficult in one way or another for us all. No one leaves unscathed. But how we respond to those challenges will determine a lot about not only who we are as a person, but what kind of life we will inevitably lead.

Lesson 7: Rewards are awesome to receive, and maddening to watch someone else get exactly what you need.

Whenever one of the teams wins a reward, it is always bittersweet. The ones who win are ecstatic. The ones who lose are crushed. Especially towards the end of the game, those rewards are very important. A hamburger or a pizza in your belly sound incredible after not having eaten for 4 days. And when you see the other tribe who loses, it’s hard not to feel sorry for them. There are times when one tribe has been at Tribal Council (which is when one person is voted off of a tribe), and the other tribe is literally stuffing their faces with food. The tribe that is voting just has to sit there and watch the feasting while thinking about who they are going to vote off. That is objectively awful.

There will come a time if it hasn’t happened already that someone else gets exactly what you want. And sometimes someone else gets exactly what you need. The kicker is when that other person doesn’t even need it as much as you do. But guess what? It doesn’t matter. Life isn’t always merit-based, and that’s OK. Granted, thankfully it is oftentimes merit-based. When we work hard, we get what we are striving for. However, there are times when it seems the one who merits absolutely nothing gets it all. This can be beyond maddening.

Again, this goes back to Lesson 5 – life can be unfair. But the LORD never promised us that life would be fair. That’s not the point. The point of life is to honor the LORD and make the best of every situation. When Jesus told the story of the talents, each person was given different amounts of money. They also earned different amounts of money, and the one who needed it the most ended up with nothing. Unfair, right? But not really. They all had nothing to begin with! All of it was given to each person. Just the same as it is for each one of us.

All that we have is a gift, and we must do the very best we can with whatever we have been given.

Lesson 8: Setbacks can be consecutive and no fault of your own. What counts is if you get back up and in the game.

It’s always painful to see the same exact tribe at Tribal Council week after week. They just can’t get a break! There are those on the team that are working like crazy, but still, no wins. What’s incredible to see, however, are those that despite their circumstances, they keep getting up ready for the next day and the next challenge.

Does anything else need to be said? This one is very obvious. It’s not about how many times you get knocked down, but how many times you get back up again.

Lesson 9: Few choose integrity over winning a million dollars.

Integrity is in short supply on Survivor, which is very much to be expected. It’s a game that everyone realizes they are playing. The entire game revolves around the best way to get to the end by outwitting, outlasting, and outplaying everyone else in the game. But in a handful of episodes, the winner of the game has surprisingly been able to maintain a semblance of integrity. Most winners must backstab and deceive their way to the million. But a few do it keeping their character fairly unblemished. Guess who is most fondly remembered?

There will be many times in life where our integrity will be tested. Will we do what’s easy or what’s right? This sounds simple, but in practice, can be very difficult. One thing that I’ve found is that the best way to practice making the right choices for the big decisions is to make the right choices in the everyday, small decisions. Never give up your integrity for the sake of a short term gain. When we stand firm on our convictions, the LORD will always honor our decisions.

Lesson 10: When we have less, we appreciate whatever we get so much more.

The first few days of Survivor are all about getting to know the other tribe-mates. But after a few days, the reality of the little they all have starts to set in. And it’s funny how excited each of the contestants gets when, for example, a tarp is presented for a reward challenge to keep dry. It’s a tarp! But being warm and dry is a luxury that they don’t experience often while playing the game!

When things are taken away from us, I believe all of us become much more appreciative of whatever we do end up receiving. This is such an important concept for us to take to heart, especially now. Many of us are disappointed with so many tough things that have been happening recently. However, we now have something we didn’t have before: perspective. I believe we won’t ever take for granted the many things we enjoyed before the madness of cov*d, masks, and social distancing. I hope we can all be thankful for what we have and not need it to be taken away to realize its incredible value.

That’s it! Any other take aways from this awesome game? Let me know!!

©2024 Mud Hen Mama


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