The revolution in professional wrestling continues with the emergence of wrestling superstar Becky Lynch as the cover athlete for this year’s title. Being given the honor of representing the company as the face of their video game is a pretty massive privilege, and one that is fully earned by the athlete who calls herself “The Man”. Her ascension to the peak of popularity was acknowledged in the incredibly cheeky and entertaining (if a bit on the nose) introduction video for this year’s WWE 2K20, in which she crashes through a “glass ceiling” to interrupt a seemingly “boys only” soiree. In an incredibly male-dominated business, she has truly broken down walls that have remained solid for decades, performing in the main event of this year’s WrestleMania event and in so doing has built further on a foundation that will hopefully continue not only for Becky but for the others who will follow in her footsteps. Talk about inviting yourself to the party.
And this is more than just merely giving Becky Lynch lip service… an entire mode in the game is being dedicated to Becky and the other members of the “Four Horsewomen” stable, in which you can play through their stories as well. One of the primary reasons many of us play video games is to experience the exciting fantasies and stories that we would never get to live out in real life, and this year’s WWE2K title seems to recognize that this story is one that many fans would love to relive from a first-person perspective. And who knows? Maybe playing through these empowered female narratives and walking in the virtual boots of these trailblazers will inspire many people to follow in their footsteps… if not literally, then perhaps in the real-world lives that we actually do inhabit. And the stakes in our real world lives are immeasurably (and eternally) higher…
Sometimes our lives can feel very ordinary… and when compared to the exciting life of a wrestling superstar quite mundane indeed. No exciting theme music, no flashy attire, no arena of fans chanting your name… just another day of picking up a package of diapers and a box of fish sticks from Wal-Mart on your way home from work. When we are just trying to find a way to survive to the next weekend, the next paycheck, or the next milestone we can easily forget the importance of the path we are trail blazing for those who are following us. And if we have stumbled off of that path (as I have done MANY times) and let some of those who are watching us down, many times we can artificially limit our intended impact by cutting ourselves off from those who still need us.
In the book of Esther we find the true story of an empowered women who definitely under-estimated her significance in the whole scheme of things. Forget Becky Lynch, this simple young woman had stepped out, dominated a nation-wide talent and beauty contest and was headed for a simple and comfortable life as the wife of the Persian King. But in that culture the reality of being the queen was more of a title than a position… as a matter of fact she didn’t even have the right to approach her husband, the king, unless she was summoned. The punishment for such an action? Nothing less than the death penalty (Esther 4:10-12)… so yeah… pretty high stakes.
But this is where Esther’s true purpose in life would be revealed. She was not given the position of queen for her own benefit so she could kick back, relax, and play shuffleboard. She was deliberately placed here so she could do something that nobody else could… influence the pagan King of Persia to subvert a plot meant to kill her entire race, the Jews. The race that would lead to the birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. I am going to give you the cliff notes version, but I would highly encourage you to read the entirety of the book of Esther for a full grasp of all of the political intrigue that comes next.
Esther, who unbeknownst to the king was a Jewish woman herself, was asked by her uncle to speak to the King on behalf of her people. The king’s wicked adviser had manipulated a law into place which would cause a massive genocide of her entire race of people. Esther was concerned that approaching the king without being called would result in her death, but her uncle Mordecai reminded her that this was not merely her own story, but that of her entire race…
Esther 4:13-14 And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
Faced with her true purpose and mission, Esther boldly approached the king and successfully appealed to him to create a law that would prevent the full destruction of her people. As a matter of fact, it delivered a victory that would protect her, her uncle, and the lineage of the Jewish nation that would eventually deliver the Son of God into the world. She may not have seem qualified to have that kind of impact at the beginning of the story… many people would have likely written her off as just another pretty face, unlikely to have an impact beyond a brief and unimpressive stint as the newest arm candy for the king. But here she is, blazing the path to the future by trusting that the God who placed her where she didn’t seem to belong would guide her to the destiny she had been designed for.
Regardless of our gender, background, or current direction in life, each of us have a sphere of influence that we may not always be cognizant of. Don’t believe me? No matter who you are or where you are at, eyes are watching you. Impressionable eyes. You are on the cover of someone’s virtual “heroes journey”… each one of us are. Even if it is just one person… someone in your circle is looking up to you. And we have a responsibility to those who are observing us, whether they are our family, our friends, our co-workers, our students, our teachers, or anyone else we come in contact with to fulfill our destiny… not for our own benefit, but for THEIRS. Their story is the one that we have been destined to deliver.
A quick story to close… there was once a humble preacher named Mordecai Ham. It is unlikely you have heard of him. But I am certain you have heard one of his most famous converts… the one and only Billy Graham, evangelist to millions. The Apostle Paul was brought to saving faith in Christ by a man named Ananias, who disappears from scripture immediately after Paul’s conversion, never to be heard from again. But without Ananias we wouldn’t have almost the entirety of the New Testament or all of the churches that Paul founded all across the world.
We aren’t all destined to have a massive worldwide ministry or become a household name… but we may be the one who inspires the person who will. So I hope this encourages you today… no matter what your path has been or how little you believe of your impact on others in this world, you have been brought to EXACTLY where you are for such a time as this. Walk boldly into your destiny regardless of the real or perceived risks, and don’t let anyone use your past to discourage you or remind you of how large the challenge before you is. Souls are dependent on you… many of which you may not even be aware of. The footsteps you are planting today will one day guide someone… what destination will your steps guide them to?
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