Devotional thought of the day….
14 So, when gentiles, not having the Law, still through their own innate sense behave as the Law commands, then, even though they have no Law, they are a law for themselves. 15 They can demonstrate the effect of the Law engraved on their hearts, to which their own conscience bears witness; since they are aware of various considerations, some of which accuse them, while others provide them with a defence . . . on the day when, 16 according to the gospel that I preach, God, through Jesus Christ, judges all human secrets. Romans 2:14-16 (NJB)
35 Bless the Lord, all the Lord’s creation: praise and glorify him for ever! Prayer of Azariah 1:35 (NJB) *
7 O LORD, you deceived me, and I was deceived; you overpowered me and prevailed. I am ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me. Jeremiah 20:7 (NIV)
Sitting in the airport the other day, getting frustrated by playing a silly game on my phone, I recognized the same kinds of frustrations that I’ve been dealing with for a while in life. As I got on the plane, I was reading a new book, recommended to me by a friend. Written by a Catholic priest, it talked about the lessons of faith learned through watching Star Wars, and how to apply those to ministry. Very well writtent this book, and so while taking it in, I thought of my frustrations and decided to write this blog.
So here are the things I’ve learned about God from playing this frustrating, addictive game.
1. Achieving your goal may take some time!
Nothing in Candy Crust saga is impossible. It just seems like it! Eventually the little things will line up, you’ll get rid of the bombs and you will finish that level. It may take you a week, or 30-40 trips to the bathroom (come on – be honest – you play Candy Crush there!). You might put it down for a couple of days, you might even delete it off you tablet. But the levels aren’t impossible. Likewise, we will endure through the struggles in our lives. Some may take longer to play out, some may be very very frustrating, some may cause us to want to drop out. The funny thing is, we get all excited to finish a level… only to take on… another level!
But we will endure them, and in fact, sometimes we will learn a lot more about life (or the game) because it takes so long!
2. You aren’t God
How many times have you wanted to choose what colors fall next? How many times have you gotten wanted to bargain with the processor, just drop me a blue candy there, and I will get you a new SD card, or a pretty new case! Or gotten angry as that last bomb ticked off, and you had to start again? There are times I wonder if my failues are deliberately caused by the computer – that they want me to fail. Most of that anger is silly, but it shows me how much I want to be in control of the game… and of my life.
Sometimes, I’ll be honest – like in the game I want to play God. Sometimes I am actually foolish enough to think I can do better, or that God is playing with me, like He did with Jeremiah, at least in Jeremiah’s mind (see Jeremiah 20 quote above…) But God isn’t the programmers of CCR. He’s promised that He’s in charge, that He is our Master, that He has obligated Himself to do exactly that which is good for us.
3. Mistakes are in the past!
So you failed 40 times at a level. Guess what! When you hit play, all those failures are history, and they have no impact on the new game, or the new attempt to solve the problem.
Likewise in faith, when we hear 1 John 1:8- when we confess our sins, and trust God to forgive them and cleanse us of all unrighteousness, we start as new as the day we were born, and the day we were born again. The sins we’ve committed are in the past, the failures are gone, and while they lurk in the shadows, they really can’t affect how we live today, We might listen to them, we might learn from them, but the glory of the Ministry of Reconciliation that we’ve been given (see 2 Cor. 3-5) is that God’s work is complete. He has forgiven us, He has cleansed us, and hit the play button again.
I could go on and on about this one… there are things about this game that so mirror the frustrations of life. There are amazing things, when you think all is lost and a striped candy and a mirror ball show up next to each other with one move to go, and the day is miraculously saved. But there is one thing for sure, and that will be my last point..
4. The makers want your time.
I bet that the designers of CCS have an innate or learned knowledge. They have a goal, expressed in how many minutes we maddle move little things around, trying to achieve our goal. They want our time, because for them, it means $$$$. God is neither so manipulative or so greedy for stuff that doesn’t matter. But He wants our time as well. He wants to spend it with us, showing us His love, showing us His mercy, sharing with us He re-creation of the world, because the blood of Christ was spilled on the cross. He wants your time, because He loves you, because that’s what this life is all about. The people of God, and those who have yet to realize that He loves them but will. Gathered together in His arms, cared for and loved.
As incomplete this silly little game is, that last point, in their brokenness and ours, says it all. For they realize how precious our time is….and want it. Not as much as He does, and not for the same reason.
Maybe.. we can spend some more of it with the Lord who loves us, and takes care of our failures, and walks with us through the levels of life.
- Persecution, Martyrdom, the Love of Christ…. and a hard lesson in prayer (justifiedandsinner.com)