Super Mario Bros Isn't Real Life

Imagine.

You try to do something a few times.  You give it your all.  You die trying.

No problem.  You reset.  5 more lives.

You get back out there and keep trying.

Wouldn't it be nice?

That's not real life.

And, that's not the part I wish were real.

I want to be able to save my progress.  Specifically, I want to be able to save my Spiritual progress.  My Jesus progress.  I want to save where I am in my walk.

During Super Mario Bros, you could stop, save, and shut down.  You turn off the Wii, and three or four days later, you can turn the Wii back on, put in the disc, and you pick up exactly where you left off.  Nothing has been lost.  Or forgotten.

You don't have to redo a level.

You don't have to re-earn you rewards.

You don't have to think about anything that you've already completed.  Because it's complete.

That's not real life.

Someday I'll share much more detail about the freedom I've received in the past 28 months.  I used to be frozen in fear.  Absolutely frozen.  I breathed fear.  I slept fear.  It was all I did.  I functioned in fear.  I look back at pictures and see times that were joyful, but, at the time, all I felt was fear.

Today, I feel joy.  And sadness.  I get to feel a spectrum of emotions.  That's what healthy people do.  And, I'm a healthy person.

But,

(Why does there have to be a but?)

I still have times- generally short, perhaps extended moments- of fear.

And, you know what?

Those times make me super angry.

I don't want to have to fight off the fear.  I want to be passed that.  I want to be beyond it.  I want to be above that.

And, you know what?

I'm not.

And, you know what?

I'm a healthy person.  I'm walking my walk with everything I have.  And having the Holy Spirit in me is a lot to have.

And, you know what?  (I promise not to ask again.)

I still have to fight.

In the book of Revelations, we get this amazing vision of Heaven.  Jesus is rapid-firing information at John, and John's recording as fast as he can.  We come to the third chapter, and Jesus has letters for some of the ancient churches.  In verse 1, He is speaking to the church at Sardis.  They have a reputation for being alive, but they are dead.  He tells the church to

"Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God."  

I'm not concerned that my faith is getting ready to die, but I do know that my walk has ups and downs.  (And, your does, too.)  Strengthening what remains means that we keep fighting.  Even when it's something we've been over before.

But,

(I like this but better.)

I think Jesus is okay with this.

The apostle Paul, when writing to Timothy, chose to use the metaphor of a running race.  I happen to like that choice.  Running races (track and field) take me to a warm place in my memory space.  He's says that we're supposed to run well the race set before us.  That we're to finish the race well.

In our 100-meter dash mindset, we like this race picture.

Run like crazy, never think about anything twice, feel no pain, and hit the finish line in like 10 seconds to the sounds of the heavenly cloud of witness cheering like crazy folks.

Sounds nice.

It's not real life, either.

This life race is long. (Actually it's short like a vapor, but we need to run it like it's long.  Like ultra-marathon long.)  As we run our race, we might come to similar issues on our course.  For me it's fear.  I slugged through too many years of fear mud.  I had an amazing breakthrough from that life-halting mud.  I'm not going to hit that kind of mud again.  I was freed, but it still rains on my ultra-marathon course.  And, there are still fear puddles that pop up.

Which means I have a choice.

Do I run around the puddles avoiding anything that might bring me pain and fear?

OR

Do I run through the puddle knowing that Jesus is on the other side, the Comforter- the Holy Spirit- is running with me, and that I'm being purified in the process?

Marching towards Heaven being purified on the way?

That's real life.

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