Only Nintendo could do this. After years of the underselling WiiU console, Nintendo has hit jackpot after jackpot with the worldwide hit of Pokemon Go on mobile platforms, the national Easter Egg Hunt that was the release of the NES and SNES classic, and now the record-breaking sales of the Switch console. Add to this incredible run the “Game of the Year” releases of both Zelda and Mario Odyssey, and it is clear that everything Nintendo has been touching has fully turned to gold. But this new idea is not only the largest example yet of Nintendo thinking outside of the box… this is Nintendo thinking about the box ITSELF.
Nintendo Labo is an idea that could only work in the world that Nintendo has created. Multiple accessories made completely out of cardboard are the name of the game here, and with this upcoming product it is safe to say that gaming will truly never be the same again. I mean seriously… all of the accessories are being made out of one of the least expensive and readily available substances on the planet, and yet I can’t imagine too many Switch owners who would not be compelled to at least give this a try. From a mock piano to a fishing pole, the sky is the limit for these low-cost but high-concept cardboard based accessories designed to enhance the already stout capabilities of this hybrid handheld/console into yet another incredible experience that defies both imagination and the traditional confines of retail.
Cardboard may be one of the most unlikely materials to create new video game experiences from, and I can’t imagine too many gaming companies that were having serious conversations about its potential applications with their high-tech gaming systems. But this incredibly unqualified substance is about to have its date with destiny thanks to Nintendo’s belief in its hidden capabilities. Many of us are often in a similar situation… at times feeling like cardboard standees on a field of battle that we frankly don’t feel like we belong in. With all of our dreams of accomplishing great things in our lives and for the Lord it is easy to feel overwhelmed by our lack of qualifications for the path we dream of walking.
In Judges 4 we find one such “cardboard soldier”. Presumably, this is the story of Deborah, the first and only female judge of Israel and her right hand man Barak. At least that’s how it starts. Deborah has been tasked by the Lord to send an army into battle against Canaanites and she recruits Barak to lead the army into battle. But Deborah is quite clear from the word go that he will NOT be the one laying the fatal blow to the enemy. Rather, it would be an unheralded non-combatant who would provide the deliverance for all of the people of Israel.
Fast-forward to the battle and we find the enemy general Sisera running from the field of battle to regroup. Both sides were locked into fierce combat and Sisera’s army was being completely overrun. In his exhaustion he stops at the tent of a family that has been an ally to his people previously. With a little rest and an opportunity to create a new plan of attack he may be able to turn the tide of the battle, and as he approaches the tent he is greeted by the “cardboard” hero of our story.
Jael, who had no previous involvement in the war effort, who was not part of the planning meeting earlier, and was not featured in any of the promotional marketing is about to step into not only her destiny, but become the hero of the whole campaign…
Judges 4: 17-21 However, Sisera had fled away on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite; for there was peace between Jabin king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said to him, “Turn aside, my lord, turn aside to me; do not fear.” And when he had turned aside with her into the tent, she covered him with a blanket. Then he said to her, “Please give me a little water to drink, for I am thirsty.” So she opened a jug of milk, gave him a drink, and covered him. And he said to her, “Stand at the door of the tent, and if any man comes and inquires of you, and says, ‘Is there any man here?’ you shall say, ‘No.’”Then Jael, Heber’s wife, took a tent peg and took a hammer in her hand, and went softly to him and drove the peg into his temple, and it went down into the ground; for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died.
Jael was not a soldier. She was not a judge. She was not even allied with the Israeli army. But she was the wild card that the Lord had chosen to deliver the killing blow to the enemy. She was not even in pursuit of her true purpose when this story started. The Lord brought her destiny to HER. And when it was time, she played the part of charming hostess long enough to take down an enemy that only she was in position to defeat. It was the very unassuming nature of her position that made her the PERFECT weapon against her foe.
I have struggled, as I am sure many of us have, with my lack of qualifications to do the work that my spirit compels me to complete. I have often felt that I am little more than a cardboard soldier in a war meant for those who can drive tanks and fire heavy artillery. But the Lord does not always use the qualified, the skilled, or the warriors to do His work. As a matter of fact, more often than not He does not choose the qualified, but rather He qualifies the CHOSEN. Jael was not most people’s first choice for delivering her people. I will bet most of her people didn’t even know her name or who she was. But the Lord saw her as his perfect weapon and she did the job that ONLY she could do.
I would have never picked cardboard to be the next innovation in gaming. But yet here we are. And whatever your past, your present, or the outlook on your future is… you are more than the sum of your parts and experiences. They merely brought you into the position for you to defeat enemies that others can’t. Because of your path you have been placed into the IDEAL position to deliver others from what oppresses them. You are the “Jael” for someone in your life… so take joy in the “cardboard” that you may feel you are. That is why your enemy underestimates you. And THAT is why the Lord will use you to defeat him.