Monday, November 12, 2012

Infinite Power

If you were Nicolas Cage and found the treasure at the end of your appropriately titled movie, would tell someone? 

What if you learned, that hiding among this treasure, was a key to human understanding?  I mean, no big deal, but after only one use, you were hooked.  If that were made into a movie, then suddenly Cage’s character is possibly an anti-hero who questions his sanity, and wonders if he can trust the world with this newfound power.  At the end of the Sphere (a book by Michael Crichton or a movie starring Dustin Hoffman), the three main characters sit down and purposely forget about an ancient artifact they found on a futuristic spaceship sunk in the ocean.  Don’t question it, just know that the Sphere allows the three to do whatever their hearts can conjure, and it gets ugly, so they all take hands and forget they ever knew about it.  The end.  We can all sit cozy knowing no one has the power to do whatever they want.

But wait…isn’t that exactly what everyone wants?  Were the actions of these people selfish, or noble?  Because if the three could have learned to control their power, they would have been the greatest beings to have ever lived.  They could have ended war.  Invented a food that was easily grown and easily distributed.  Who knows?  The possibilities are only limited to their imagination.  Which is also the scary part.  How many people do you know, that when given power, are happy to abuse it?  When they know they are powerful, are suddenly fond of proving it?  Isn’t this the heart of man, and the reason there isn’t world peace right now?  It’s not because the few people with noble hearts simply don’t have enough power, but because there is no one noble.  Given the opportunity, we’ll abuse authority.  It’s in our genetics, written right into the fabric of our DNA.  We want power so that we can abuse it. 

So back to the artifact question.  If you found this artifact, would you share it?

Here’s a secret that I’d like to share.  I found such an artifact.  It is ancient and eternal, and allows the user immense and unrivaled power.  So much, in fact, that to be without it is almost like becoming an animal in the presence of humans.  It is that great.  The difference between this artifact and the Sphere, however, is that I can trust the population of the world with it.  I know that I can freely hand it out and never be afraid of the consequences becoming adverse.  And the reason I know I’m okay to share this power is because it’s sentient.  It thinks for itself, and will never favor one human being over another, because it is their creator.

You probably knew that was coming.  This is God, people.  A being of immense and perfect power, willing (and actually hoping) to give that power to the people that ask, because that is His heart.  The problem is that not everyone wants it, because the cost of infinite power is also infinite, and we are finite beings.  The real problem facing humanity is not in our effort, or lack thereof, to improve the world, but our inability to view it differently.  We have a finite view of mortality.  A finite view of corporeality, and therefore, reality itself.  We don’t want infinity because we can’t see into eternity.  We think we want to be all powerful, that our lives would cease to experience triviality and drama, if only we were gods, but that’s not the case.  The truth is, without a vision of a new reality, omnipotence would bring with it an all consuming sadness.  The realization that there is no longer any obstacle to overcome, no enemy that couldn’t be dealt with, would be devastating for the heart, because a trial gives us a finite goal, and your heart needs a goal to continue beating.  In real life survival situations, it’s often not the elements that claim the lives of people, but simple nihilism.  It is the will to survive that falters.  If your mind wasn’t infinite before your power, you wouldn’t care about anything.  Look up the character Dr. Manhattan.  An infinite goal is essential, and that is what God is.  Alpha and Omega.  Beginning and end. 

The scariest reality of them all is not that we might lose what we’ve worked for in this life, but that we might have been working for the wrong things the entire time and never known it. 

So does infinite power bring infinite responsibility?  Absolutely.  And this is another aspect of eternity that causes our mind to reject God.  And also where many people wander away from God who originally thought He was worth it.  People often can’t believe that God would ask them to be infinite.  So they settle for less, which ultimately means an infinite loss, since you can’t count to infinity.  Would you take the key to human understanding if it meant you would know the intentions of all men everywhere, including yourself?  Would you share it knowing they would see the same things you do?

This is God.

His reality is different from ours.  Infinite.  Accepting Him means losing the part of your humanity that makes you finite.  That allows you to be accepted.  It’s hard.

But to do so is worth it.  Can you imagine if you learned to fly, and then had people tell you to stop acting different?  Would you stop flying?  You couldn’t, could you?  In fact, you’d probably begin to wonder if there were other things you had been missing out on, because you were determined to be a slave to the ground.

This is a superficial example of what following God is like.  But to chase Him is freedom on an unimaginable scale. 

“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found, and hid. In his joy, he goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field.”

Running into Heaven is so great that selling everything else isn’t even an afterthought.  It’s your first reaction.  But it comes with a heavy price, and one that must be paid in order to obtain eternity; anger and resentment from a world jaded by your apparent dissatisfaction.  Sometimes, no matter how much you intend to convince them that this new reality is worth it, and that it is available to them, they will still hate you for leaving, unwilling to believe.

“Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.” 

Jesus knew the consequences of revealing himself to his people.  But he also believed, even to the cross, that it was worth every ounce of the life he possessed to bring them this new reality. 

So…is it worth it?  I want to believe it is.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Will You Follow Me? Part II

Who are you God?  Where are you?

Have you ever felt like asking these questions?  I think I ask them all the time.  Is God about us?  Or is God about Himself?  If He’s about us, is He worth putting our trust in?

How would you ever know if you were supposed to put your trust in God?  How would you know with absolute certainty?  Would you look for evidence in the world?

“Well God seems to be working things out in this area.  He must want it to happen.”

Is that faith?  What is real faith?  What does it look like?  Because I would like to give an exasperated EFF in saying I wish I knew with certainty what the will of the Lord is. 

I mean, should we even desire to know the will of the Lord?  How does that play out?  I think people desire to know the will of the Lord, not necessarily out of their desire to know Him, but so they might mold that vision into something they can get behind. 

“Oh yeah God?  Cool plan and all, but imma do this over here and say I did it for you.  Sound good?  Awesome.”

I’ve never pursued something as passionately as I have God, so what do I have to show for it?  (That was a rhetorical question.)

Could you ever prove that God exists?  I mean empirically, could you ever bring evidence into a court room that would prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God was real?  “You see your honor?  A cow that makes chocolate milk and a baby with wings that swears God is legit.”

Who is God?  I’m under the impression that if you say in your heart there is no god, you will never believe he exists, no matter how outlandish or incredible the evidence.

But what about people that swear God is real already?  Maybe they don’t need proof, you say.  But ask one why they believe in God, and nine times out of ten you will get an answer that is this in some form or another “God has done [this] for me.”  Why is God real?  Because he gave me a new heart.  Because he gave me what I asked Him for.  Because he did this in my life.

Is that really belief?  People always tell me that faith is believing in what you can’t see.  But couldn’t I “see” your new heart?  Couldn't I see peace?  Couldn't I look into someone’s mind and find the brain waves that represent tranquility as the psychologist defines it?  Is your God experience unique?  How do you know?

What if you simply believe a lie?  What if you are your own thoughts… and nothing else?  Do you rely on what other people say about God?  Do you rely on your own experiences?  What happens when those people leave, when your experiences run out?  Will you still believe?

I think I was at that point when I stayed in this motel called the BUDGET INN (second word at an angle, likely because they ran out of room on the sign.)

There’s this voice in my head telling me to do things, telling me there is a greater reality than the one I am accustomed to.  But this greater reality doesn’t exist in its fullness here on earth, because the planet is broken, and its people are dying, metaphorically and physically.  Every moment they ignore the One who placed them on this rock called Earth, they pass on life.  Man is cursed, it says.  They will run after all these things which will die, and then they will die. 

But God is life, this voice says, and it’s worth giving up everything for.  Even sanity.

If you start listening to voices in your head, aren’t you essentially schizophrenic?  It’s okay, you can nod your head in agreement.  To be honest, I’ve never once spoken with someone who’s said they’ve spoken with God, and not come away thinking they were a little bit off.  “Voices, huh?  You may want to get that checked out.”  If you want to live a normal life, you never admit to hearing voices of any kind.  That shit gets you a quick trip to the hospital, and not the kind with stethoscopes.  The kind with crayons and daytime TV.

So when I say I hear things from God, I do it knowing it could get me in trouble.  I wonder how Paul or Barnabas felt before they met each other after the road to Damascus.  Do you think they questioned whether they actually heard a voice?  Nobody else heard it.  Paul’s group only saw a bright light, and suddenly their friend was blind.  Most of Barnabas’ friends didn’t even believe he actually heard correctly.  “So let me get this straight…God told you that the dude murdering all our friends is actually a good guy?  Just give me a few hours head start before you invite him over for lunch.  I’ve got some stuff to pack.”

So again.  How do you know God is real?  If you say you know God…why?  Could you strip away everything that earth offers for believing in something and still come away with belief?  If you can’t, do you really have any belief to begin with?  What if some tragedy hits and your answer is simply “welp…God has a plan for everything.”  Really?  No offense, but this just sounds like a kind of denial to me.  If you’re going through a trial or a tragedy, this is close to the last thing you want to hear, and I’m going to assume it’s because this is an incomplete answer.

I think a better answer is “God saved me.  I believe because, in His grace, he gave me belief.”  My faith comes from the only one capable of providing true faith.  Any other kind is a false belief, a false gospel.  Any other kind allows for boasting.  You can’t save yourself.  In fact, I think the more we pry away the reasons for this, you realize that you never wanted to save yourself to begin with.

This brings me to a story in the bible that has traditionally given me some trouble.  It’s the parable of the workers in the field, Matthew 20.  In this story an owner of a field hires groups of workers at different times of the day, and at the end, although the men hired last only worked a couple of hours, he pays them all the same amount.  Imagine if you were the guy hired at the beginning.  You woke up at six in the morning to get a job and worked through the afternoon sun, and on into the evening, and when you go to get paid, the guy who showed up two hours prior gets the same paycheck.  Are you going to show up at 7am tomorrow?  Hell no!  I don’t care how you spin this story, it sure sounds like God is encouraging laziness. 

Some people say that the workers’ jealousy is wrong, and I would agree, but why?  Some people say we don’t want God to be fair and again I agree, but we already know how long they all worked.  It doesn’t say that the ones who worked through the afternoon sun were actually playing sand volleyball.  They all worked.  It’s just that some worked less.  And at the end?  Jesus tells us “the last shall be first, and the first shall be last.”

Do you really want to follow a God like this?  Someone who lets you work extremely hard for Him and then gives his stuff out equally anyway?  Does that inspire perseverance?  Or loyalty?  Or joy?

Do you think God is actually talking about work in this passage?  Is this about our salvation?  Or something else?

It’s true that I don’t want God to be completely fair, because I want mercy, but if you know anything about working with kids, you know that if grace is defined as rewarding placid behavior the same as selfish behavior, you’re going to end up with one entitled little punk.  One that will eventually make you redefine grace as “punch in face.”

What if this story is actually about the source of our value?  In the next few verses, we hear about how one mother desires for her two sons to be at the right and left sides of Jesus, and He asks the sons if they will be able to drink from the same cup He will, to which they of course answer “yes.”  To which His answer is “You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”  Yeah okay, you will get what you said you could handle, but not what you asked for.  Welcome to my kingdom suckers.  You get the crap without the throne to sit on.

What was Matthew trying to illustrate here?  Because it sounds like, in God’s kingdom, you want to be last.  Welcome to insanity, friends. 

Enter intrinsic value. 

What gives something innate value?  Do I prize my horse more than my daughter, because the horse actually makes me money?  If one was about to get hit by a bus, which one would I save?  Unless I was a sociopath, the answer would always be my daughter.

God, a master of irony, turns insanity into common sense.  My world is flipped as he uses my own logic against me.  I want the worker who worked longer to receive more, but only a truly depraved individual would say that a horse is worth more than their child.

You see, I believe this parable is actually about the worth of the workers, and where they are able to derive their value.  They want to believe that through their work—their ability to act humble, their natural talent, their genius, their perseverance through hardship, or simply their knowledge of some truth—they have saved themselves and can bring this before God as evidence of their devotion.  They want the cup, so that they might sit at the right hand of God in some future kingdom.

I struggled with this reality, and still struggle, as I realize the source of my value.  Ironically, the BUDGET INN was expensive.  Ironically, my worth could not be measured by my weight.

My worth could only be found in the one who called Himself “Savior.”  It is external and immeasurable on Earth, which according to definition means it is also crazy.  Strip away everything I have on earth.  My voice, my patience, my pure heart, my wisdom.  Pull back the layers of self worth I’ve placed on myself, and unless I have the infinite weight of the Messiah weighing on me, I am worthless.  I am only heavy if God chose to make me so. 

You can’t DO anything FOR God, just like you can’t prove God loves you any more than you can bring evidence of His existence into a court.  You can’t prove you love God.  But your inability to provide evidence is freedom.  Freedom from the burden of proof. 

You don’t need to convert X number of people before you die.  You don’t need to preach X number of sermons.  God isn’t an equation waiting to be balanced.  He simply is.  And that’s all you need to be.

God, proof or no, is worth racing after.  I pray that all the earth opens their sail in that direction.  

Monday, March 19, 2012

Will You Follow Me? Part I

I just read a blog that was all about how easy it is to feel sorry for yourself and otherwise be negative.  I am one of the most prone people I know to really enjoy him some self-pity…and I hate it.  So how would someone pull himself out?  Is that even an option?

Let’s make a list.

  • List Item 0- Life is good.  Learn to enjoy the little things.
  • List Item 1- Understand that life is big, and that my little problems are meager by comparison.
  • List Item 2- Learn to leave things alone.  God has a plan for our lives.

Am I supposed to feel better now?  I only feel guilty for not feeling better.

I’m not na├»ve.  I’d even say that the bulk of my life since high school has been a lesson in how to avoid the stupidity of my youth (or at least come off that way to the unwary stranger.)  I am an intellectual.  I look for the rational side to every well-intentioned but otherwise retarded explanation.  I don’t fall for pop culture fads or diets, or ghost hunters who get a little too excited when exploring empty buildings, and my alien and crop circle loving days are long behind me.  The point is, I’ve lived enough life and failed enough since I walked that stage in high school to know when something is amiss…and I started to take pride in how well I could avoid a good swindle.

So what do you do when God says, “hey, how about something good for a change?”

What?  Something good?  I have your Spirit living in me, what could be better, right?  Street-smart Chase knows how to answer that question.  Nice try, God.  I’m too clever.  I know that life is hard, and I know that “good” worldly things don’t just fall into your lap, Christ-follower or not.  I know that the rest of my life will be drudgery and difficulty, and I am totally cool with that.  In fact I almost welcome it because it fuels my fire against those false prophets who treat your name like the magic incantation it isn’t.  I can’t be deceived.  I won’t.

“Only you can satisfy.”  I reply smugly.

“Good.  Then let’s get you something you can enjoy.”

How does He do that?  In only a few words God makes me falter on the foundation I had built for myself…again.  I was sure God loved His people, and I was sure that the suffering his followers went through was actually proof of that, because only through fire can a blade be forged.  But what good is a blade if it can’t also be a scalpel?  The same blade that can hew stone must also be able to cut with enough precision to attack a cancer.  And in the end, this process was never about the blade anyway, but the one wielding it.  It’s the maker of the blade people flock to, or should. 

And if this blade analogy is getting a little tiresome for the girls, then imagine I’m talking about a credit card…a reeeally sharp credit card.  Okay I can’t actually think of another analogy; just stay with me.

Recently God asked me to make some pretty stupid calls.  At least in my mind and in the mind of most people I knew.  I felt like my faith in this area would be represented in my enthusiasm, or reluctance, to follow through with His word.  How much did I actually trust Him?  Was it enough to look the complete fool in the eyes of a world that already didn’t think too highly of me?  And then if I wasn’t, could I actually believe in the same God I felt had become more and more real in my life since I made that first decision to relinquish my will to him so long ago?  The answer was no.  If I didn’t believe God now, I couldn’t believe in the same God later. 

The God I believed in was one of intensity and grace.  Mercy and justice.  He was real, and not merely an icon people put their “trust” in.  He was alive.

The answer to the question I asked earlier about which man learned the meaning of Christmas (previous post for those of you now searching fruitlessly and with confused looks for when I mentioned anything close to three men at Christmas) is actually none of them.  Yeah, trick question.   None of those men learned the reality of God because none of the men got past the notion that the world didn’t revolve around them.  All their concerns were rooted in the world.  All their fears and even joys were wrapped up in what the world had done for them, and if God is real, He certainly isn’t about what his creation can do for his creation.  God is about God, and although men don’t initially like that idea, I believe that this is actually the best news anyone could hear.  Because when God is about Himself, He sends his Son.

So why is this important?  Why bring up the fairly worthless parable about the three men at Christmas again? 

Because God taught me something, at a rundown motel in Marlin, Texas, about what it meant to give up everything and follow Him.

End of Part I

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

God Descends

There once were three men, all friends and fairly well off, but one more so than the other two.  It was the day before Christmas, and they were going home to see their families. 

The first man came to his house to find his wife crying out front about how they had been robbed.  He comforted her, telling her that God was still in control.  The second man was a bachelor, and he also arrived home to find that he had been robbed.  He immediately called the police and gave a full report, certain that the police would find and bring the thieves to justice.  The last man, and the richest, had a small family.  He returned home to find it untouched by misfortune.  He had invested in an expensive security system, and it had deterred the robbers.  He thanked God for blessing him with a family and the money to provide for them.

The next day, on Christmas, the three men were talking about what had happened.  They all had enough money to continue with Christmas, even though it wasn’t quite the same for the first two.  They discussed the meaning of the season, and all decided that it was comforting knowing God was in control.

As time went on, the robbers were never found.  The police did their best, but they couldn’t find any significant leads.  The first two men prayed fervently that God would help them through the rough times, and they did.  The rich man went on living normally, marveling at his good fortune.

In the end, the first man and his family recovered from their tragic Christmas and went on living in relative peace.  The bachelor, who had lost the least, quickly grew to be successful in his job, replacing all that was lost and more.  The last man eventually lost the most, having the great majority of his wealth invested in his real estate business, which went under during an economic downturn.

Years later, advanced in age, they discussed their lives.

“I wish I had anticipated the depression,” the previously rich man said.

“I wish I’d settled down and had a family,” the bachelor said.

“I guess I’m just glad God looked out for me all those years,” the first man said.

In the end, they all agreed God was sovereign and that life was good, a lesson well learned from a day so long ago.

So which man learned the meaning of Christmas?

God came to earth.

The idea is so simple, and yet holds such tremendous weight that it has managed to dominate the discussion of mankind for the better part of two millennia.

There is no other like him.  Jesus Christ.  Born of woman supposedly incapable of having any children because she lacked the necessary hardware; namely, sperm.  Yet the virgin trusted a deity who, if He revealed Himself to anyone fully, would kill them, and she went on to bear the child that would save the world.  And not just from bad days or bad years, but from eternity.  Jesus came so that we might have life, and this idea is dangerous.

So dangerous, in fact, that the king at the time, Herod, murdered thousands of children 0-2 years old to ensure that this child wouldn’t make it. 

If this was a movie, and you decided that for once, you were going to cheer for the bad guys (because they never win maybe, and you’re all about the underdog,) this would be an incredible moment.  Think about it.  You’re the bad guy.  The good guy sits in his impenetrable fortress all day and directs traffic from some place normal people can’t see.  And even if you could break into his fortress, fighting him would be like trying to throw rocks at the sun.  It would consume them and laugh. 

And then, to your great surprise, the fool decides to turn himself into a being that you normally enjoy pushing over with a stick.  What an idiot!  The impossible to kill good guy has suddenly made himself weak and frail, even to the point of a crying baby!  And he did it on purpose!  For a second you falter, wondering if this is a trick, but if it is, it’s too good to pass up.  You decide that he’s gotta go, because you’re never going to get another chance like this one.

As for God, what was he thinking?  He decides to come to earth, but instead of descending in some kind of hurricane followed by a firestorm, followed by three earthquakes and a volcano, (and maybe a few asteroids because…hey, he’s God,) he comes down and is born in a barn.  Not even an expensive one like the barns that held the kings horses, which were probably nicer than the houses of most Hebrew citizens. 

And then, who does he get to announce his presence?  He could hire out the locals and literally rain down gold on them, so they could deck themselves out like MIB and announce his birth through a first century rap music video, but no, he decides to have his message delivered by a bunch of crazy shepherds, who probably have about as much credibility as today’s UFO abducted hicks.

“Sure Jerubabel, we believe you.  I see angels all the time too.  In fact, I see one now, and she’s white and fluffy and has followed you down the mountain!”  Much ridicule of man and sheep relationships followed.

The people God uses to deliver his message of hope are almost all initially considered crazy and/or too poor to count.  Peter and his brother are fishermen.  John the Baptist, whom Jesus said there had not been any greater man born of woman, ran around surviving on bugs and honey.  Jesus himself, not considering equality with God something to be grasped, made himself nothing.  He came to die.  He came straight out of his citadel in heaven to live among men and bring them hope.  

God’s son.  The manifestation of all his glory in the form of a man named Jesus, came down to be born into trailer trash poverty, to people who couldn’t believe they were being used by an infinite God.  This is the message behind the birth:  That God loved his creation enough to send a part of Himself to die, in order that they might know Him.

Jesus came to earth.  God, a being we can’t even hope to fully understand here in three dimensions and possibly eternity because of WHO HE IS, put on the finite clothes of flesh and bone to deliver a message of hope to His people.  And he approached it like no other being before him.  He was not a conqueror like Caesar Augustus, or a writer like Homer.  He didn’t bring an end to physical suffering, but actually suffered himself.  He didn't come to be great, instead humbling himself until the Romans killed him, and yet somehow ended up the inheritor of all creation.  A carpenter.  A teacher.  A criminal.  Crucified with criminals.  This is Jesus.  And he came because he knew what we could not.

His dad.

In the end, this is our hope, that Jesus loved the Father with the type of ferocity that made the world tremble.  It was a love that redeemed creation.  This is the story we always want.  This is the yarn we spin into as many books and movies as we can.  We want a savior, and we want to be that savior.  Christ, as the firstborn of all creation, has made the ultimate sacrifice.  He's opened the door, and invited us to step through.  It means leaving behind the world and everything it offers.

And eternity is so worth the risk.  

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Soap Box

For the same reason I believe swear words like “dang” and “shoot” are pitiful attempts to veil an angry heart with “Christian” sounding appropriateness, I believe people’s disdain for video games (and other geek-related entertainment) is hypocrisy of a similar kind.

People love tolerance, except when it interferes with their ideals.  If my ideal is to have fun, then shoot man, I'll drink 'til I puke.  I’ll urinate on this sidewalk if I want to.  But if your ideal is to tolerate everyone, then God forbid you have to deal with someone who is openly intolerant.  I am a tolerant human being and proud of it.  And I love everything, especially nature.  Going outside brings me closer to God because nature is spectacular, and we all should love and care for…do you hear that?  What the hell is that sound?  My god!  Is someone banging on the fake drums of Rock Band?!

"Was I mistaken in thinking my outfit made this look cooler?"

Oh Rock Band...

Video games make for easy comedic fodder.  Most gaming nerds are imagined as tubs of lard drowning in potato chip grease, and who doesn’t love to make themselves feel better by ragging on the fat man?  As someone who loves to play Halo with my friends, I’d like to iterate that it’s entirely possible video games are a waste of time.  But seriously?  What’s with all the venom for those people who love to blow up some alien ass in the name of freedom?

While sitting around a picnic table one day with friends, I off-handedly mentioned that hobbies like biking, kayaking, or mountain climbing could easily be considered just as much a waste of time as videogames, and I got the “is he talking about infant cannibalism” look.  Now I realize that as the reader you might be asking yourself the same question, so let me explain.  Someone told me that these activities increase your well being, but who decided that the definition of well being was written by how many miles you’ve run?  I’d like to mention that just because your idea of “well being” involves some sort of holistic Oprah based approach, you aren’t necessarily right (also, how much do you have to run before it's "running?"  Until you breathe hard?)  Nerds, Rednecks, and doctors might disagree with you.  Are they wrong? 

I'm House, and your temperature tells me that  you have some rare, incurable disease called  hifalutinitis.

Now everyone knows a little exercise is good for you.  No one in America is suddenly falling over in shock due to that bit of information.  Gym class pretty much ensures this truth is humiliated into every kid in elementary school.  Get out there and walk around fatty.  Drink your milk and eat your vegetables.  This is so ingrained in the American psyche that we have thousands of books, schedules, infomercials, and ironically enough Wii and Kinect games to remind us of how guilty we should feel for avoiding it.  But somehow this has also translated to “if you don’t go outside all the time you’re worthless,” like the fourth installment of Indiana Jones, whose title I refuse to utter here.  

This might be an obvious overstatement, but I think most people subconsciously swear by this.  I’m not one to bash outside-going (especially since I love the outdoors,) but for those individuals who enjoy the inside activities, we’ve done them a disservice through our attitude of disgust for technology.  If your love is biking, go for it bro, I just don’t want to hear about how much healthier you are than me or how tight your bike shorts are.  I believe dropping 3000 bones on a used road bike is a little ludicrous, yet most people are happy to overlook a possibly unhealthy obsession because it improves your ability to move long distances under your own power…because screw cars and their stupid, cheating pedals.  An Xbox costs 300 dollars, and I can play with more than one person.  Just saying. 

Video games bring people together.  Laugh all you want, but it’s true.  World of Warcraft doesn’t care if you’re black, white, or a troll with an internet connection: it only cares if you are a good paladin with epic healing gear (I think—can’t say I’ve played this one.) 


I heard a sermon recently (that I liked) where, about half way through, the speaker faulted the Christian guy for not taking more initiative in pursuing women for marriage.  Women, therefore, are delaying marriage because men are dragging their feet, afraid of commitment.  Apparently it’s the man’s duty to ask the woman, like that’s been the cultural norm for thousands of years or something (sarcasm people, calm down.)  But what, do you suppose, was the disease he mentioned as being the primary cancer in marriage growth?  (Well to be fair, it was “fear of commitment,”) but if you guessed video games as the first symptom of that disease, you win!  Congratulations, if you are a fan of Zelda or Madden, you hate marriage.  Like the silly book readers of yore, constantly distracted from the real manly work, video games are a new, thinly veiled evil. 

The question shouldn’t be “how can we embarrass these nerds out of their unhealthy habit?”  It ought to be “can any hobby or pursuit escalate into a monstrous waste of resources?”  Absolutely.  It doesn’t matter where you start.  Anything you pursue can grow to become an old George Lucas; confused and soul-crushingly insane.

Oh George...