I CAN remember playing musical chairs when I was a youngster. We'd circle the chairs until the music stopped and then race to sit down before the last chair was taken. It wasn't fun to find I was the only one left standing, without a seat.
Of course, that was just a game. But sometimes life seems set up a lot like musical chairs. If someone's going to win, someone's also got to lose--and if you aren't careful, the loser might be you. This sometimes makes people feel that to be happy and successful they have to be the absolute best in the class or on the playing field. Or that they need to compete with other people to be more popular or have more friends. Some people even think brothers and sisters are rivals for their parents' love.
You don't have to push others out of the way to keep from missing out on good. The best way to deal with the fear of losing out is not to keep struggling for your share--it is to understand what good really is and where it comes from. In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, observes, ``In the Saxon and twenty other tongues, good is the term for God'' (p. 286). Anything that is truly good comes directly to you from God--not from anything or anyone else.
Is God present for one person and not for another? Of course not! God is All and He's everywhere. Can God love someone else more than He loves you? He never could, because He is infinite Love. If he loved unequally, He would be limited instead of infinite--He would not be God! So nobody has more good than you do right now. And you have your own good, just as everyone else has his or hers. You don't need to take from someone else to have enough, and nobody can take away the good God gives you! The Bible says in First John, ``God is love'' (4:8). Remembering this can help you find good in each day, because it's what you know about God that tells you about yourself as His good son or daughter. People don't always say so, but the fact is, thinking about God and loving Him change our lives for the better. Science and Health says, ``Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts'' (p. 261).
God is loving us all. For happiness to be dependable and secure, though, it needs to be based on this spiritual fact instead of on changeable things like what someone else is doing or saying, or how the scoreboard looks. Holding thought to the spiritual facts is a very different approach to take, but it has the advantage of putting us in charge of our days and our lives. It is dependable.
The question is never whether or not we should win games and make friends. There's nothing wrong with things, and they can even help us see God's good in our lives. But the most important priority is to do a better job of expressing qualities of God such as intelligence, grace, strength, and kindness. It makes sense that when you do this, gaining victory or pleasing others isn't as important as being a better person. And being a better person is what really makes anyone feel good. No matter how many awards a person gets, understanding that self-worth and goodness come directly from God is the only thing we can always count on.
You can see why prayer really is important. It helps us hear God's messages. Prayer is always strictly between you and God. No matter what situation you're in, nothing can keep you from having His help. And praying destroys the false belief that there isn't enough good to go around. What better way could there be to obey the two commandments that Christ Jesus said were so important?-- ``Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind'' and ``Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself'' (Matthew 22:37, 39).
Life is not really a game of musical chairs. The gifts God gives are for everyone, and His good is unlimited!