Once again, I am more than likely going to show my age! But … Who remembers … Pac-Man… Galaga… Space Invaders… Centipede……Mario Brothers!! Oh Yeah… THOSE were the fun games! We could, and would ,spend a whole roll of quarters at a time at the arcade or the foyer of our local WalMart store on any given Saturday afternoon or hot Summer day, trying to beat our last score. We were on a mission to see what level we could make it to, or ultimately… our goal was to get our initials entered as the highest score, so everyone who played it after us would know exactly how good we were !
We started out by placing our quarter in the slot of our favorite game. The once quiet machine would suddenly come to life by playing the theme song. We then would begin to psyche our self up by getting in to our famous position and grasping the controls in a very strategic way in order to conquer that first level. As we played, we would move our little guy through the many obstacles that were already in place to try to keep us from getting to our goal. We would jump over them, smash them, kick them out of the way or blow them up…… and then….all of a sudden…. an enemy, of some kind would, sneak up out of no where and try to destroy us in some way. Now we are not only jumping, smashing, kicking, and blowing up simple obstacles, but now we have to deal with some things that are actually trying to wipe us out!!!
Once they “knock us out” or we miss a jump and fall to our “death”…. the game always likes to taunt us with the “whammy” sounds that announces to you ….and anyone else in close proximity that…… you failed… you died… you have lost this round!! But…. that doesnt stop us!!! Ohhhh NO… with a pocket full of quarters we pull out another one and place it in the slot once again…. very determined and wiser than before …. we know exactly what to look out for. We know now when to duck… when to jump and when to look out for the sneaky little enemy that will be popping out from that bush, that cloud, that tree…. and we will NOT let that happen again!!!
VICTORY! Level one has been beat!
Same little guy… different scenery… different obstacles…different enemies….! This level is harder and once again… we go only so far before hearing the disheartening sound of the “whammy” sounds announcing once again… we have lost. Thankful again… for the quarters we have stashed and the wisdom we have gained we… press on …. for “one more round”.
Eventually… the quarters run out…. or maybe our time…and we have to walk away from the game…. but in the back of our minds…we hear Arnold saying…. “we’ll be back”! We WILL be back. The wisdom and the strategies will play over and over in our minds while away … we seek out the “cheat codes” and study them, so when we get to make the run again… we will be that much more ahead to breeze through those first several levels to take on the highest level…with fewer and fewer quarters… and much less time!
Isn’t it funny how life can parallel a game?
We go through life in the same way…. we get up in the morning with a new outlook on life….tootling along our own way… dodging a few obstacles… making decisions… some good… some not so good… and then out of now where it seems…..”whammy!” We get knocked off our feet and slammed to the ground! Sometimes it is a big fall … sometimes a relatively small fall…. but it will always leave us with a choice! Do I walk away from “the game”? ….. or…. do I dig deep down into my stash of determination quarters?!
When I choose to put another quarter in this game of life and get back up on my feet…. I know more… I have gained wisdom on what to watch out for…. when to dodge, jump and duck!!! I also realize that there is an enemy out there that does not want to see me succeed and make it to my goal! So… I keep a closer watch out for him. Sometimes… Some… “things” take longer to get through than others…but each time… I get a little farther … a little faster … than before. I also have gained enough wisdom to help those others that may be just starting their “game of life” that I can offer them some insight on what is laying wait just beyond that obstacle to help them finish “level one” a little faster and easier than I did.
VICTORY!!! Level one has now been completed!!
New Level…. New Devil!
Although the challenges… the scenery… the path is different… we have gained some much needed skills and wisdom from the previous level. We tend to get stronger… and wiser…. more agile with every victory we receive. Some require several attempts… some… not so many! Sometimes we have to walk away from the game …. for awhile…but …. we never give up…declaring…. “I’ll be back”! We continue to plan our strategy….study up on the “cheat codes”… the Bible… Sermons… Songs … and when we are put back into the game………
I do believe I can see…. not only my initials… but my entire name… written…. in the Victory Book of the Lamb of God…. NEVER to be removed!!