I don’t know about you, but when I start a new video game and I am offered to play it on “easy”, I choose to play the game at the normal settings. For some reason, and you may feel the same, I feel as if playing a video game on the easiest setting is cheap; almost like a slap in the face to the game designers. A few years back Capcom, the brilliant minds behind every great game that you remember as a child, decided to reboot the classic Mega Man franchise with the original graphics and game play of the first few titles on the NES. In 2008, to the great delight of Mega Man fans, Mega Man 9 was released and featured all of the great game play that was enjoyed by early gamers. Game designers soon realized, however, that this was not the mid-80s, and many younger gamers complained that the game was “too hard” (waa waa, baby whiners). Two years later, Capcom released Mega Man 10, which featured an “easy mode” where platforms were set up where they would not normally be in the regular game play. This provided a great deal of disappointment for fans of the original games, seeing as the easy mode practically handed players the keys to Dr. Wily’s Castle.
I have said it before and I will say it again, video games have gotten much, much easier, and that is because everyone wants to be a winner. In the world of gaming, all you have to do it put enough time into the game and you can complete it. Too bad life is not like that, even though many people would like to think that it is.
It is now 2017, and I consider this decade to be the “decade of least resistance.” Every part of our society points towards an existence that is easy and relatively painless. Practically every operation in a hospital being able to be done through Same Day Surgery, or there are apps that allow us to order the pizza that we ordered the day before; life is pretty easy for the American. That is why I am big fan of First World Problem memes, because they are simply true.
The problem for us believers is that life cannot and should not be easy. Read anyone of the New Testament books and you will be able to see a central theme of sacrifice for the believer; a crucifying of self and relinquishing of selfish ambition. That is why it says in Luke 9:23-24, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.” This charge does not sound like easy living to me, in fact, it sounds like taking the path of the most resistance.
There is a concept in gaming that I believe is true to life; if you come across enemies and obstacles in your travels, then you are going the right way. The Word says in John 16:33, “In this world you will have trouble.” Notice that it does not say that you “might” have trouble, but it uses the absolute term of “will.” We all want an easy life, but it will not always be that way, especially as Christians.
I could end it there, but the passage in John 16:33 doesn’t allow me to, because it finishes with a wonderful statement, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” We are not traveling this path alone, we have Christ and His Holy Spirit to guide us through the obstacles and enemies that so frequently trip us up. As gamers, we know what it is like to endure, so how much more should we be able to do that in this life and not take the easy way out?