Being a Christian is an interesting way of living. We experience life in a manner often opposite to those outside of the same faith. Whether we are taking a walk through nature, going to work, cleaning our homes, or playing videogames, God’s voice can be heard and His presence felt.
A book that left an impression on me discussing this topic was by Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God. This monk from centuries past goes into how he could be in devotion while cleaning dishes or just doing his daily chores. This was not common as it was the norm to spend quiet time (often long periods) to kind of, “get in the zone” with our Heavenly Father. His book is still a classic and it’s pretty small, so it’s a short read. It’s
“He does not ask much of us, merely a thought of Him from time to time, a little act of adoration, sometimes to ask for His grace, sometimes to offer Him your sufferings, at other times to thank Him for the graces, past and present, He has bestowed on you, in the midst of your troubles to take solace in Him as often as you can. Lift up your heart to Him during your meals and in company; the least little remembrance will always be the most pleasing to Him. One need not cry out very loudly; He is nearer to us than we think.”
This all ties into how I myself have experienced God throughout the years. I was 17 when I first gave my life over to Christ in high school, and it’s been a journey in knowing Him deeper. It didn’t take me long to reject many religious traditions that were being taught to me while I went to church.
By doing so, I did not have to rationalize and explain to people how I was relating God’s word to when I played video games. If I am playing Spiderman and I realize that Peter Parker, being a superhero with powers, still goes through everyday issues in life while helping those in need compares to the lesson of the good Samaritan then I believe God gave me that idea.
You can find God’s fingerprints on just about anything. From marveling at the wonder of how trees create oxygen, why the Earth’s atmosphere is perfect for life exist to how intricately made the human body is.
How characters interact while playing a JRPG like Tales of the Abyss, Lara Croft’s search for answers in Tomb Raider or something simple like seeing the beauty of the gameplay in Eastshade, there is no limit to what nuggets can be dug out of just about any game. It’s hard for me to sit down and write everything I want to because there’s too much. The imagination continues to inspire, yet we all need time to capture that inspiration and give it shape.
Breaking down biblical lessons, stories or personal supernatural experiences with God and comparing them to gaming is so enjoyable. I hope that gamers can see that their Heavenly Father will speak to them even while they are deep in multiplayer with Call of Duty, Minecraft, Fortnite or whatever is the popular game of the moment.
Every game I play does not give me some supernatural inspiration, but sometimes a theme or a line of dialogue connects with a thought of mine and that’s how it happens. It’s not a big, mysterious wonder.
In fact, I believe most people who have great ideas just allow themselves to think, “what if?”. This whole blog started with wanting to create content that I felt was needed. If I love Jesus and play videogames, there have to be others out there like me, right?
If you are a gamer, think about how your life relates to them. What meaning or lessons can you discover when your mashing those buttons, or listening to that character’s conversation?
He wants us to know Him personally, and He will use anything to reach us, even a video game blog like this one or the next time you decide to turn on your console and conquer digital worlds in Destiny or Final Fantasy.
Pay attention to the dialogue, decisions taken, or morality of some of your favorite video games. I am sure you will find some truths that you can apply to your own life.
What gems have you gleaned from playing video games? Was there a certain game, character, or scene that impacted you? Let me know in the comments!