The Earth Experience — Now Available on PS4

life is a video gameSometimes I feel like life here on Earth is like a video game. When you overcome one obstacle, another one takes its place. And if the obstacle is too big, you can be busted back several levels and have to struggle through some of the same stuff again.

It is fun reaching new levels, though. When you do, just like in a game, there’s all this new stuff to see along with the new things to overcome.

I don’t feel like I’m close to a new level, though.

A few days ago, someone tried to provoke me by calling me an assortment of unflattering names. It felt like a little demon sailed through the air with each word, like a succession of witches on broomsticks. I felt weighted down all day. Sage helped me. He told me I was the most awesome mom ever, and what mom doesn’t live to hear a compliment like that? A couple of the demons lost their grip and fell screaming to the ground. Then his friend told me how much he appreciated something I had done for him last summer. Another one bit the dust, having been poisoned by the surge of blessing I got from this kid.

There’s still a couple hanging out, it seems. One of them is fairly indistinct — an almost translucent gray figure hanging around me like a cloak that could almost go undetected. That is, if I wasn’t hip to the spiritual nature of depressive episodes.

It feels like I had reached a life force of 12,300 in the game of life and got busted down to 8,000 for not having had the skill to cast off the hurt before it dug its greedy claws into my soul in its attempt to plant a seed of bitterness in my heart.

I can’t emphasize it enough. Spiritual attack is real. Paradoxically, however, the key to overcoming it is not focusing on it. It’s much better to choose to focus on stuff you’re grateful for. Then the stuff clinging to you will feel nauseated and go away.

It feels like gratitude builds up your life force, helping you to increase your points so that the next time you get blasted, you’ll have a bit of a cushion.

The thing is, though, the more you play the game, the more skilled you get. There’s always something to learn, even when you make a mistake you’ve made in the past. I’m trying to summon gratitude for each lesson, even when I’m struggling through a level that has a fog of hopelessness along the path that I must strive to see through.

Putting ideas into practice is hard. It’s easy to lay around and whine or indulge in feelings of sadness, but that just has us repeating the same level again ad infinitum, doesn’t it?

Feeling super-glad the the source the game is plugged into never runs out of power. :-)

Note: If you doubt the power of words, I challenge you to watch this most excellent documentary.

Laying it Down for Love

pure religion is this

I hope yesterday’s post didn’t come across as arrogant. Because I don’t know all the answers. I don’t even know a few of them. I just have this overwhelming feeling that I need to somehow break free of the culture — go barefoot, live in a tent in the desert, pour myself into something else besides my mortgage and the bills I ran up while not knowing how to celebrate Christmas.

Sometimes I feel angry because it’s so hard. I always imagine myself dismantling culture — taking apart the scaffolding that holds it all together and seeing what lies underneath. Living that thing, whatever it turns out to be.

I’d like to ditch the anger and live entirely in love. I definitely need to quit worrying about what other people are doing and focus on living my life in the manner God directs.

Today, my eyes lit upon a verse in the book of John. I’ll bet you’ve heard it before.

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love have no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

Whoa.

First of all, it’s a command. From God.

Next, Jesus says to love as He loved us. Frankly, that part blows my mind.

Finally, he tells us that love is laying down our lives.

When I read that last one, the first thing that comes to mind is throwing myself in front of bus while knocking someone else out of the way. I don’t think that’s what He meant, though. At least not entirely. I think He means that we are also to give up our lives in this sense:

For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. Matthew 16:25

Life perhaps partially being that temporal comforts with which we surround ourselves. Our house, our car, our grandmother’s Persian carpet. Our dreams for the future. Our present activities.

So if I’m right, and this is even a little bit what He means, then I should be willing to lay it down if it will show love to a brother or sister. Maybe it can be picked up again later, maybe not. And yeah, maybe it even means jumping in front of a bus. Although I’d rather not.

I think this is how people are able to live in mud huts after having grown up in suburbia. It’s how people can risk their lives spreading the gospel in New Guinea. It’s the reason a lawyer chooses to represent the poor instead of raking in six figures in corporate law. These people have laid down their lives for Love.

I want the same. Because ultimately, we all lose this life whether we want to or not.

Photo credit: Public Domain Photos