I play a lot of video games.
I play games for a wide range of reasons. Sometimes it’s the sense of accomplishment, sometimes it’s a feeling of growth or learning. Sometimes it’s enjoying time with friends or being able to mercilessly defeat them. Sometimes I play for the rich story or the fun looking characters. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to have all of the above.
Video games are an example of God’s world-building creativity in us. Each game provides a new world to experience and explore, as well as being reflections of their creator. And just as these little worlds are created for our enjoyment, everything on Earth was given to us by God for our enjoyment.
In the beginning, God gave Adam and Eve everything. All things on Earth were given to them freely, except for the one tree in the middle of the garden. Adam and Eve were given everything they could ever want, but they decided that they wanted something else. So they disobeyed God. Because of that, Man became broken and separated from God for eternity. All because we wanted something other than God.
In case you are not up to date on 14:21’s adventures, we have been on our third stateside tour this year for over two weeks now. At this moment we are visiting Seattle in order to do some recruiting in the state of Washington.
If I can rewind a bit to the beginning of tour, flying back to Minnesota, I was having mixed feelings. I was excited about going back on tour, but I was beginning to really miss some of the luxuries I had back home. Mainly, having more free time to play games. Winter break was a nice break, but I still felt like I was missing out on a lot of that free time. Before I knew it, I was back in Minnesota, prepping for tour. Where had all that time gone?
Feeling a little cheated out of a break, I started to spend more and more time on the road playing games to try and “make up for lost time.” Eventually I realized that I was sacrificing precious times of ministry to go off on my own and play games.
I was reading Galatians one morning which talks a lot about the freedom we have in Christ, and came across this verse.
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. -Galatians 5:13 NIV
At that time, I had been in conversation with multiple people about choosing between indulgence and ministry and this helped solidify my resolve to choose ministry over indulgence in all cases. From that time to today I have had a multitude of great experiences with host families especially where I chose to chat and share time with them rather than retreat into the room I was given.
This is all to say that choosing God and His vision for us will always satisfy us more than our own devices ever would (no pun intended). We have a song in our rep called Shadows by Tenth Avenue North that talks about how we chase these unsatisfying things which takes us further and further away from the beautiful and fulfilling life that God has for us. I encourage you, as we encourage our audiences in our programs, to choose God in everything that you do over what we may selfishly desire to do.