Is life just a game? Just a series of lessons? Or is there more to it? Do I need to dig deeper?
If you are a Christian or a gamer or maybe a Christian gamer or just part of the game of life – read on… (also included if you follow the links Sonic the Hedgehog Trailer and other gaming and book links)
It’s OK to say I have experienced a lot of pain and trauma in my life and I need to learn from it and grow, but what does that look like? If we have to learn something then that implies that the pain and trauma, the suffering and hardship is a teacher, right? Well, the thing with having a teacher is, you are and I am the students. And at some point the student has to learn, grow up and move on and become the teacher – so what does that look like?
Well, as I said, if the teacher is pain and suffering, well that’s what the teacher looks like! That paints a picture in my mind of Jesus on the cross. And if life is just like a game and a series of lessons to be learned, then life also is a teacher, right? We are all in this together – the teachers teaching the students and the students becoming the teachers and so the cycle continues…and life may be a game but we are all characters in that game – without the characters, there is no game and the game would have no meaning.
This week I have been at home on annual leave, trying to take stock a little. Trying to look inwards and see where I am going. I started off the week worrying about all the things I thought I should be doing while I had the ‘time’ – gardening, house hold chores, writing my novel, catching up with art projects, paying bills…and the list went on! Until I felt like it was more stressful to be not out working that actually out working. So I stopped that and I can’t get that lost time worrying back but I can learn from it.
Now, it’s helpful to have metaphors to use to look at ourselves and our journeys, and I’ve used those metaphors in my art and writing as all artists do. ‘The Realm of the Purple Dragon’ was a way for me to express myself in a time when I needed some healing. “There is a time and a season to everything under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 – It’s just a children’s book. A fun, I think clever, light-hearted story for children (for my inner child who needed it at the time). And aren’t we all just children at heart?
Lately I have been thinking of just abandoning all the creative stuff that I try to ‘put out into the world’ and just focus writing my blogs as a way to talk to my children. Sending them to them as personal emails, because I have come to the conclusion that this is all that matters at the end of the day after all – our connection to our children. And in the same way, our connection to our Heavenly Father as his children! Because as much as we want to think that we make a huge impact on the world and the global consciousness and effect change on a grand scale by our efforts – that’s just our egos talking. Maybe a very few do have some impact, but in the most part we are all just tiny parts of a big machine. We are all just players, programmed and running around the program doing what we have been programmed to do. And unfortunately the world we are living in is computer gaming on steroids!
If you know me you know I like to learn from my dreams. The symbolism I see in dreams and the world are a language that seems to communicate to me. I like to think it is a conversation I have with my creator, and prayer I have found, for me anyway, certainly does get responses or answers, some answers are more profound than others, and sometimes it is loud and clear but more often than not it is harder to hear. But I continue listening all the same. Well last night I dreamed I had these huge embarrassing hairs on my chin – which does happen by the way, but these whiskers or hairs in the dream were huge, like hedgehog spines! Bear with me, this is all related to the game metaphor, I swear…
Recently, last week actually, I watched the new Sonic the Hedgehog movie because when I was in my twenties and a young mother, that was the game we played with our children; apart from Spyro, which is what inspired ‘The Realm of the Purple Dragon’. But sonic was harder to play in a way, even though it was a simple concept, because it is a fast game. You have to think on your feet as it were and make quick decisions with obstacles. It is essentially a race. You run around like a loony collecting gold rings and trying to get to the end as quickly as possible. But with that fast pace game (another metaphor for our fast paced living perhaps) you can’t slow down to look at the scenery – to observe the beauty of the artistry of the game’s background design. And sometimes you also miss the hidden places where treasure is to be found! Maybe that’s part of what the dream was trying to tell me; to slow down and smell the flowers so to speak. To sit quietly and look for the treasure in this game of life; to talk to the kids, to read my bible and seek wisdom (God’s hidden treasure in his word) to re-charge my batteries and to have some fun; some joy and peace in the moments.
And what of the spines? Those hard thorn like follicles of hair on my dream self’s chin? What message is trying to be conveyed here? Well, these spines represent a beard firstly. So a beard, what does that conjure up in my mind? Well, perhaps as we think of men as wearing beards, it must represent masculinity, strength, power and perhaps wisdom – as the longer you grow a beard, the older and wiser you should technically be! The image of the statue “The Thinker” also springs to mind. Stroking your chin or beard or leaning on your chin may be an indication of deep thinking; perhaps wisdom again? Also hair represents a covering, a protection of vulnerability, more power! – To be honest I’m not entirely sure what this imagery is trying to tell me! Maybe I am spending too much time running around like Sonic the Hedgehog trying to keep myself safe, looking too deeply at things? Trying to do it all myself under my own strength – maybe I need to look deeper? After all those hard spines could be used as a weapon – so maybe that is my strength – my wisdom and power! Well what do I consider to be wise? Knowledge worth having? The only knowledge and wisdom I consider of any worth is that found in the word of God.
And so this week I am listening inwardly at that quiet conversation between my God and myself and paying attention to the signs. He says, “stop trying to run around like a loony doing things under your own steam, you’ll only burn yourself out! Remember that I am in control and have the controller in my expert hands. After all I designed this game and I know where you are going, even if you don’t” and “I am for you not against you”. “I want you to win! And you will win. It’s just a matter of letting me play out the game.”
So as God takes the controller and I run on under his steam not my own; I can sit back and look at the scenery, the awesome design that I am a part of and keep my eyes open for the hidden treasures as I go. And as I learn the secrets of the game – become the teacher and pass on those little cheats, those little nuggets of wisdom to my children, perhaps I can pass them on to you too through my writing and my art. That’s my power, the gifts that God has given me after all, so I shall power up and get on with it. But not this week. This week I’m on holiday in my garden – well that’s how you have to roll in this lock down world we are living in. And yes, I will stop to smell the roses!