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July 3, 2017, 9:26 AM

Video Games have taught me a thing or two


Full disclosure: I like and play video games. There is an Xbox One in my living room that plays a prominent role in my leisure time. Understandably that turns some people off to whatever I have to write next, but I hope you'll stick with me for just a few more moments. The games I like to play are slower paced, open world, action based games. The two particular series I like have me taking the role of the hero who must stop the bad guy(s) from taking over the city/world. Good times indeed. 

So what have I learned that would apply any spiritual thought worthy of a blog? Easy... I get lost sometimes. Inside the games I like, with an open world, there is a LOT of ground to explore... and very, very often when exploring I find myself turned around and missing an objective, etc... Here's where it connects: I know I'm in the wrong place when the music is soft, there is no one trying to beat me up, and the game is peaceful. Yep, this is not where I'm supposed to be. 

I know I'm on the right track when the game's intensity picks up, the music starts playing an ominous tune, and enemies pop up. I am no longer able to happily explore and toot around... I have to fulfill my objective and win the day. 

So where are you at? Are you in the place in which there is no challenge, the music keeps you soothed and at peace, and no one seems to be pushing against you? If so, you very well may be in the wrong place. Yes, I understand that isnt always true in real life, but lets stick to the premise of video game logic. Games will keep you focused and push you forward by challenging and opposing your progress. Simply put, if there are no challenges, you need to turn around. 

Our faith journey is very, very similar. If we are not being challenged, then we have either hid our belief system and morals so well that no one knows they exist, or we're in the wrong place. There are rare occasions in which we are really challenged in our corporate church settings on Sunday morning. In fact, it may be the safest place we can be to express our faith. That doesnt mean we're in the wrong place, but it certainly means we've got to take the momentary peace we find here and turn right around to the bigger challenges outside our walls. Jesus never told us we'd be comfortable following him... he told us there would be persecution, challenges, and the discomfort of denying ourselves and carrying a cross. 

Take a lesson from video games... if you're not being challenged, you're not on the right path. Be the hero this kingdom needs and find peace in a world of chaos and disorder. 

Matt 5: 11 - 16  11“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers.12Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way. 
     13“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.14“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.15No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.16In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly kFather.


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