Which Way ???

I turn 40 this year and I still love to play video games.

I guess a part of me is a bit embarrassed to admit that, but I have been hooked on the challenge since Atari, Pong, and then Intellivision. I am highly competitive and the challenge to beat the game system has always been intoxicating to me. Some young men would sneak a transistor radio to bed to listen to the ball games, I would sneak my hand held Matell football game under my pillow and wait for the kiss and hug good night from my mom and dad – then the games would begin (if I could have just figured out a way to turn off the touchdown fanfare that always seemed to play at the most quiet time of the night).

None of my 4 girls have developed a love of XBox or Play Station, but the young men that are hanging around the house more and more these days are video game junkies. I have yet to lose to anyone of these young fellas – I love the puzzled look on their faces when they realize that someone’s dad just beat them at “their” game. I have learned to wait until they leave the room to do my victory dance.

But the other night one young man and I were playing on the same team against the computer. The object was to progress through different stages of the challenge without getting killed. This was his first time facing these challenges. I had played this game many times, and lost more than I’ve won. We came to the climax of the most difficult level and he yells, “what do I do?” At that very moment I reversed my character and ran back to his. I said “Follow me, duck down, turn left. When you get to the fork in the road – do not go left”.

Later that night I was replaying that exchange. My time with this young man playing a video game was really a word picture of discipleship. I have run the road that he had not. Without direction he may have chosen a path that would lead to destruction. Proverbs 7 reads:

Dear friend, do what I tell you; treasure my careful instructions. 2 Do what I say and you’ll live well. My teaching is as precious as your eyesight – guard it! 3 Write it out on the back of your hands; etch it on the chambers of your heart.”

Who has God placed in your life that needs your help? Who has God placed in your life that has gone before you and has the wisdom and life experience that you need right now? Both are in your life. Both are gifts from God. For the one that needs you, run back to him. Warn him of the dangers on the road ahead.

God never wastes our pain.

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