Happy New Year! I am always excited by this special time and all the hope, possibilities, and potential we are presented with at the start of another year. I like to think of it as a chance to reset, shake off the old, and set new goals for ourselves, as we move farther along in the great things God has called us to. Inevitably, each year has its unforeseen challenges and trials, but I urge you to live each day with hope and expectation and resolve to be a person of action, not of fear.
Now, since today is a holiday and many of you may be doing things that you find relaxing — maybe you’re watching sports or seeing a movie — I will confess that I enjoy playing video games. There is something about becoming part of a story and entering into the destiny of a character that I find very exciting. In fact, this is why I think video games will ultimately replace movies among young people (but I digress). My video gaming has also taught me a few things about life, so in the spirit of this day, I will share them with you briefly.
First of all, in a video game, you need XP to level up. In laymans terms, this means that your character needs to gain experience points in order to get to the next level in their journey. The same is true in life — you have to do things to grow; the safer you are, the less you’re progressing.
Secondly, keep trying because there’s always a way forward. Every video game has a design and requires persistence. This is also true of our lives — the journey isn’t easy and it requires resilience. When you fail, learn a lesson and decide to keep going because, in Jesus, you possess an intuitive belief that there is always a way forward.
Lastly, video games have taught me that adversity means you’re on the right path. When you find a monster or encounter an obstacle, you’re going the right way. Life is like this too; when you face something big, scary, or monstrous, you’re heading in the right direction — it’s there to help you grow.
Friend, life is not a game, but it is a gift. God has blessed you with everything you need for abundant life and godliness in Jesus, so I urge you to press into your full potential this year. Do scary things, face your monsters, and embrace a faith that says no matter what, there is always a way forward!