Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Addictions (Devotion)

I observed some people in a game store (it was a board/card game store) who were into Magic the Gathering. I told two different ones of them at two separate times that I had never gotten into that game and both of them said, "Good, be glad, its addicting." That night one of them had spent $50 on cards, and those cards only amounted to approximately 1/50 of his collection that he had along (this is no exaggeration) and he had more cards at home. It was interesting observing them because there were those of them who were great players of the game, who just had the genius in the right moment to play the right cards to win, and then there were those who had the knowledge of the game in their head, who when there was a rule discrepancy they would be the one to ask, and then there were those who were great at planning (in Magic you create decks before playing, but you then shuffle that deck so you don't know which card will come when) and could finely engineer a deck that would be nasty in a game, and there were those others who seemed to simply be along for the ride, they were just as addicted to the game as the others, but they didn't really seem to be very good at playing or very knowledgeable of what was going on.

As I sat and watched them trade cards and talk their "Magicese" that was way over my head (I had no idea what any of it was that they were talking about) my mind could not help but go to very similar conversations that I have had with siblings and fellow believers regarding Scripture and fine points of our faith. I made a comment during the night that "I feel like it would take a lifetime to understand this game" to which they said, "Yeah, that sounds about right". I could not help but wonder if people unfamiliar with the faith that we have feel things very similar to what I felt that night. If they feel a sense like they could never belong in that place, that these people had something peculiar and odd, that in a way these people themselves were odd, but that what they had was something that I could never have and would never want. I wonder if people feel that it really wouldn't matter how much time they spent there or how much they dedicated their life to it that they really would never get anywhere. I'm not saying that we should change anything, on the contrary I feel that the dedication of those guys to the game of Magic was enough to put some, if not many, Christians to shame. I think that we should seek to become more like them in our devotion to Christ, in our willingness to let the gospel take over every piece of us, because what we have is worth so much more than a game. But I wonder if it should change the way we interact with those who do not understand. I wonder if we should be more understanding, if we should be faster to explain what it is we are talking about, more able and willing to speak the language of our culture rather than expecting that everyone can understand that we are justified by faith alone without every explaining what faith is and that justification is so much more than an excuse you give to make yourself look better.

May you constantly grow in your devotion to Christ, you willingness to be a fool for Him and to forsake all else for the sake of His kingdom, putting the pursuit of that kingdom first above all other things. May you also speak words that are seasoned with salt, that are full of grace, and that love the listener more than yourself, being willing to even change the way that you speak and/or think in order to relate to those around you (as long as this does not compromise your witness for Christ).

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