Sunday, January 30, 2005

Black and White

My little brothers have been playing an old(er) game called Populous, where you try to become the most powerful shaman in your little corner of the galaxy by traveling from world to world gathering followers and defeating other tribes. They liked that game so much that I figured they'd probably like Black and White, by Lionhead Studios. In that game, you're a God and you try to win over followers and such, but you also have a pet that you lead around and teach to work miracles and such. So I installed it so that they could play it. Unfortunately, I got sucked into playing the game too, and spent a couple of late nights wasting time on it. It's not even that incredibly fun as a game. In fact, it's kind of annoying because your animal can learn to cast miracles, but he can't seem to learn to take a nap when he's to the point of exhaustion, or grab something off of the ground next to him to eat when he's starving. So you're off trying to manage your various villages and such, and he collapses from sheer stupidity. But the game is addictive enough regardless, and I'm suffering because of it. I play stuff like that because I figure that I need to relax, but I end up playing it into the wee hours of the morning and lose sleep, plus it doesn't help me to reduce my to-do list (up to 19 items now, with 5 high priority), so what's the point of "relaxing" if it just makes me more miserable later? So I decided last night that I need to shift my focus back to the important things, starting today. I'm going to spend my day putting my focus back on God, and go to bed at 8 o'clock. Tomorrow I'll get up at 6 AM, plan out my week and get a fresh start.

I got to listen to John Bytheway give a talk at our stake "Education Weekend" yesterday. It was a great talk. He had some very interesting insights, and of course, made everybody laugh quite a bit. One thing he said that really struck me was this: in Ephesians 6, Paul makes an oft-cited metaphor, comparing the various aspects of our faith with armor to defend against Satan. He talks about the loins girt about with truth, the breastplate of righteousness, feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, and the helmet of salvation: all defensive gear. But the only weapon that he mentions which we have to fight back the forces of darkness is "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." So think about this: if you're in battle, what is the most effective way to capture your enemy? You take away his sword, right? It only makes sense, because you can quench all the fiery darts you want with a shield, but if you don't have a sword, your enemy can walk right up and begin attacking you without fear of retribution. So, the way John Bytheway puts it, when we're going to see a movie, Satan tells us, "You have to check that sword in at the door; you can't take that thing in here." I really think I need to change my outlook so that I look at this life like the battle it is, and refuse to participate in activities that require me to give up or set down my only weapon--especially when I'm preparing to go on the offensive.

In parting, let me leave you with some Newsboys lyrics:
As I lay me down
I confess
I'm a fool for you
No more, no less
And in this world turning gray
Strikes a chord when I say
There is black, there is white,
There is wrong, and there is right

There is no alibi
If it's not the truth, then it's...
Post a Comment