Monthly Archives: November 2013

Desiring Mud Pies: Pokemon Episode 3

In my first post in this little series, which is here, I asked the question, “Would you really give up knowing God, having a wife, having a future, and obtaining everlasting joy and satisfaction, for a new game that will also be old in the next ten years?”

In the second post, I tackled the first part of the question. “Would you really give up knowing God?”

In this current post, the one after the previous, I am going to tackle the next part of the question.

I will now run through this brick wall and hope I come out on the other side unscathed. I might need a semi-truck.

Ridiculous

“Would you really give up your wife for a new game?”

Would anyone take this as a serious question? Of course we wouldn’t trade our wives for a game. That’s absurd.

I gladly would skip this question if it were not for the alcohol in the cabinet, the big TV screen in the bathroom, and the pornography on the computer. Would we trade our wives for a videogame? No. But we would trade intimacy, romance, and sex with our wives for the pleasures of lesser things.

Instead of enjoying the beauty and body of our wives, we turn to pornography. We give up what was given so that we can drink oil and dirt with our eyes. Instead of spending time with our wives to see why she may be distressed, tired, or upset, we fart in our bathrooms as we watch the football game. Instead of pushing forward in our relationship, constantly pursuing our wives, we pursue the bottle and the glass. Or, for Christians, we pursue a ministry and “conversions.”

Two years ago I ran into the question, “You say you love me, but does your life really reflect it?” God was revealing to my blinded eyes that I was speaking a good speech with my tongue, but my actions were standing opposed to my mouth. In a court room, my actions would testify against my lies and I would be guilty.

It seems like a stupid question, and one to be dismissed, but how often does a man (or woman) trade something great for something insignificant?

This should seem like a silly question, but considering the absolute sinful nature of man, it’s a question that is increasingly more in need to be answered and spoken about.

I hear jokes about “If a guy puts down his video game to talk to you, you know he loves you.”

Guys loves escaping this reality into a virtual one where they dominate and can conquer because they don’t know the purpose of their lives in this reality. So, it’s no joke that wives, girlfriends, and fiance’s have a difficult time with guys playing their video games.

The truth is, I wouldn’t trade Christie for anything. At least, that’s what comes to my mind. But when it comes down to action, my life is hypocritical. It’s easier to be comfortable where I’m at than it is to pursue her. It’s easier to think, read, write, and meditate than it is to kill my old sinful man in me to pursue her.

No, I wouldn’t trade Pokemon X & Y for Christie. But does my life reflect one willing to serve, pursue, and love my Christie?


Desiring Mud Pies: Pokemon Episode 2

The Gospel begins with God.

Genesis 1:1 begins “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” The beginning of time itself was God creating. Our basic understanding of God begins with Him being the creator. This is the most fundamental, foundational, permeating truths any person can know, that God created all things.

That means there is design, there is purpose, there is a reality and existence outside of you. You did not make time. You did not begin it all. You do not determine your purpose. God began it all. God made it all. God has a reason and purpose for what He did. It’s a sweet thing to know your purpose. It’s a beautiful and freeing thing to know God’s reason for making you. It gives weight and purpose to all things you do, once you know what it is and once it permeates everything you are. But what is it?

Now, in my last post I spoke about Pokemon. I asked myself a question as I reflected on the new game, “Would you really give up knowing God, having a wife, having a future, and obtaining everlasting joy and satisfaction, for a new game that will also be old in the next ten years?”

Over the next few posts, I want to answer the previous question and answer this question: “What is our purpose in life?”

In this post, I am going to answer the question: “Would you really give up knowing God for a new game that will also be old in the next ten years?”

Quick look

Let’s jump back a little bit. The statement behind this question was: “Now, a year later, as I read reviews and the awesome new features of Pokemon X & Y, my heart yearns for those days. To simply play without cares, worries, or thoughts. To achieve success in an alternate universe feels so much easier, and is a tasteful satisfaction of the immediate kind. But my heart also hesitates.”

So when I ask, “would you really give up knowing God?” I didn’t have in mind enjoying God through playing the game. What was behind the question was the scary fact that my fleshly nature would play the game to rid myself of the pressures of this world. To hide myself away into another reality, so that I could ignore this one. To ignore and stiff arm the creator of the universe for being the best in a much smaller universe. That I would trade joy in God for the ability to conquer a smaller, lesser world. That was scary.

There can be a way to see God through all things, because He created all things. Pokemon isn’t man’s idea, it is God’s idea.  The world has animals. There is fighting and conquering. There is a food chain. People train and tame animals. There are (were) dinosaurs, ducks, platypus, and crocodiles in this world. Pokemon is God’s world disguised, twisted, and packaged in the form of “new monsters, new world, new purpose.”

Easy lies of living in a Pokemon World

The Pokemon world fascinated me as a kid. I remember time and time again wishing that life was like the Pokemon universe, and that all I had to do was catch and train Pokemon. But it wasn’t just how easy it would be, it was far more interesting and felt more rewarding than the world I lived in.

The Pokemon world’s leading philosophy was “to be the best.” That was the chief end, the goal, the purpose of every character. Build up the best team, beat other teams, rise to the top, and have the best collection. The theme song to the television show began with, “I want to be the very best, like no one ever was.”

Stories, games, and people shape our lives. The Pokemon story gave me a taste for being the best. I liked it, and I adopted it as a life philosophy. To conquer and be on top and be known as the best was my desire. That was my purpose for living and goal of my existence. To be the very best like no one ever was. That is what would define me.

But, this purpose was small. What would happen when I become the best?

In the Pokemon games, once you beat the Champion, and once you built a bigger and better team and  caught ” ’em all,” there was nothing next. Nothing left.

The old nature in me, the old man, the me that desires to eat mud pies, doesn’t see the steak and potatoes that are offered to me.

The fleshly nature thinks the easier something is, the better. Mud pies are easier to make than steak and potatoes. I mean, take dirt, add water, mix, and serve. Steak takes years of growing a cow. Potatoes takes months of waiting for the plant to grow them.

Being a champion in Pokemon was easy and didn’t last. It’s a mud pie desire.

But knowing God is an infinite quest. Loving God is a lifetime of learning and doing. Loving God is an everlasting experience that we can’t fully grasp yet in this life. The most delicious steak and potatoes.

The beginning of the Gospel is God. He made all things. The Pokemon world is not as fascinating as the man who made it or the technology that made it possible. The author of Pokemon is in a reality far better than his makeshift reality. And even his little created world is saying something about He who made all things.

God is to be known. He is that He is. And knowing what He is will take you eternity.

I would not trade knowing God for a game. I will use all things, including games, to see God’s hand and His thought, behind it all.

My fiance is a greater joy and reality than any video game, tv show, internet delight, or instant pleasure. Work is a great pleasure given by God in which we get to labor with God in the things He so desires. To hide away, and draw myself into the small shell of the Pokemon world is to miss out on the glory that is revealed in this world. The heavens tell of His glory, and I want to see it all.