Embracing Life’s Uncertainties

Shane Lima’s Inspiring Message to the Olivet Community

January 4, 2024 Spiritual Life

Shane Lima speaking in chapel

The classic card game UNO served as an analogy from life’s unpredictable journey in a thought-provoking chapel message to ONU students. Pastor Shane Lima from Ambassador’s Church in Pawtucket, RI, illustrated life’s unpredictable nature and the importance of faith and surrender in navigating it.

The Unpredictability of Life
Centered his talk around James 4:13-15, Pastor Lima emphasized the uncertainty of life and the futility of making definitive plans without acknowledging God’s Sovereignty. He stressed that just like a mist, our lives are transient, and our plans are subject to God’s will.

Lima shared three personal covenants that shaped his life: his complete surrender to Jesus, his marriage and a humorous vow to never play UNO again – a result of his cultural clashes with his Brazilian wife’s altered version of the game, ‘Spicy UNO’.

By drawing parallels between the game’s random card distribution and life’s unpredictability, Lima pointed out that in life, just as in UNO, we don’t get to choose our cards – the circumstances we are born into or the challenges we face.

The Pitfalls of Comparison
In a world amplified by social media, Lima warned against the trap of comparing our ‘cards’ with others’, which often leads to envy and discontentment. He encouraged students to focus on their own journey, without being distracted by others’ highlight reels.

Lima pointed to the story of Joseph as a powerful example of someone who faced various life ‘cards’ – from being a favored son to a betrayed brother and a prisoner, before ultimately rising to power in Egypt. Lima highlighted how God used Joseph’s difficult journey for a greater purpose.

Lima ended the service with an invitation to the altar, encouraging students to surrender their ‘cards’ to God, urging students to trust in God’s greater plan for their challenges and trials.

Pastor Lima’s message of surrender to, and trust in, God’s plan remains a poignant reminder for all facing life’s varied challenges.

Click here to stream the full chapel service featuring Pastor Shane Lima.

Student on main campus wearing pink sweater and holding water bottle.

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