“Hi, my name is Rick and I am a gamer.” If there were such a thing as Gamers Anonymous, this is what my introduction might sound like. Yes, I have spent countless hours pursuing the Elxir of Life, fragging the Skaarj, winning Bingo, Bango, Bongo or even chasing the Golddigger achievement. I also having been doing it for many years…yup, I’m “old school.” I’ve played on everything from a Commodore 64 and the original Tandy 1000 to the Xbox 360 and my monster quad-core gaming PC (btw, I just upgraded my video card)
I am absolutely terrified to think about the many hours I have ‘invested’ in playing games. This thought crossed my mind after going back and playing Modern Warfare: Call of Duty 4 through Steam, which tells you how many hours you have played that particular game (22 hours to play though the Single Player on Hardened… how about you?)
Don’t get me wrong, I have not ‘quit gaming’. I am not trying to tell you that being a gamer is a sin. I do confess, that for a period of time in my life, it was a sin for me. Just like hardware geeks run benchmarking tests to see how the latest and greatest piece of technology stacks up against its predecessors, I began to examine how I use my time against the Master Benchmark, God’s Word. When examining my actions, whether gaming, watching TV or even work, it begged the question “In light of Eternity, how important is this?”
One of the most personally convicting and influential books that I have ever read is John Piper’s “Don’t Waste Your Life“. In the third chapter he exposes the foolishness of people chasing the “American Dream” of early retirement and spending their final days collecting sea shells. His vivid description closes with this: “Picture them before Christ at the great day of judgment: ‘Look, Lord. See my shells.”
For me, looking at the time I have spent playing video games in light of Eternity, I have pictured this same scene. Close your eyes and imagine standing before the Son of God and saying “Look, Lord. See my video game achievements.”
How about you? Maybe for you the distraction is something else, but the important question is where are you investing your time? In light of Eternity, how much will it matter? I challenge you to find balance in your life…enjoy technology, have some ‘chill time’, but also remember that God has given us just one life, invest it wisely!