The most exciting news to come out of the Gamescom event this week may not even be a game… it is simply a better way to play them. Mere weeks after announcing their exciting partnership with Backbone to create a mobile phone controller based off of the styling of the PS5 DualSense controller, Sony has unleashed their ultimate game playing peripheral… the DualSense Edge. To be fair, I am not one of those players who gets excited about EVERY new controller on the market, but this one is a pretty big deal. Why is this big news? One simple word… customization. While Microsoft fans have been able to enjoy the benefits of a premium controller for several years with the fully customizable Elite controller, PlayStation players have been forced to either stick with the official Sony controller or settle for some rather dubious third-party controller options that tried (and failed) to mimic the impressive functionality of the Xbox Elite controller. The days of undisputed controller supremacy are finally over… Sony has heard our cries and answered with a beautiful piece of technology that will marry all the fun enhancements of the DualSense (such as haptic feedback and adaptive triggers) with all of the customizable features of the Elite controller such as programable buttons and replaceable back buttons and stick caps. It appears the controller playing field has finally been levelled… and Sony may have even gained the “Edge”. (See what I did there? Because it’s called the Edge, and I said “gained the Edge”… look, it was early when I was writing this and I still hadn’t had any coffee, so I thought that line was gold).
While we are still awaiting full details on the launch date as well as the retail price, the news that Sony has finally jumped into the big leagues with this new controller is a pretty big deal. For seven LONG years both casual and competitive gamers have cried out for a controller that would match the capabilities of the Xbox Elite controller, and the silence from Sony on the topic was incredibly frustrating. They knew we wanted it, and their competition had already proven such a product was not only possible but in high demand. But for years we saw nothing from them, as if they were completely ignoring our outcry for something better… and every time we asked for innovation, they simply gave us new color variations of the same old thing. So… what changed? Why did Sony finally answer our requests for an alternative premium controller after all this time? Of all the questions we can’t answer yet such as price and release date, that is one we CAN answer. The capability to do this was always present… it was just a matter of it being the right time and the right place for it to happen.
According to Sony Interactive Entertainment President and CEO Jim Ryan, Sony has been building and preparing the PS5 console for launch since 2015… the same year Microsoft launched their Xbox Elite controller. During that time, Sony was simultaneously creating and releasing content for their current console (the PS4) while also developing all of the technology that would define our current console generation… including the new PS5 DualSense controller. And during that process, Sony had a decision to make… would they respond to Microsoft’s Elite controller on their current decaying platform, or wait for the right time and place to occur so it would have the impact they intended for it to have? Sure, Sony could have thrown a bunch of money into making a premium PS4 controller that featured the functionality of an Elite controller… and that expensive controller that was only designed for the present instead of the future would now be completely useless and obsolete for all of the gamers who have upgraded to the new PS5 console system. Time and place are just as important as power and potential… not just in the way we play our games, but in the way we play this game of life, as well.
In this final chapter on pursuing our interrupted dreams from their initial discovery into their full manifestation, we have one final reality about pursuing our God-given dreams that we must unpack. But before we get started, if you have missed any of the first four parts of our series dealing with delayed, deferred, and even destroyed dreams, they are included below to help you get caught up:
Dreams Interrupted: From Discovery to Destiny
Discovering our God-given dreams is a beautiful experience, bringing meaning, purpose and fulfillment into our lives… but the accomplishment of those dreams may not feel quite as beautiful. Bringing these labors of love to the place where they can shine can feel more like running through a warzone than a ballet dance… like the opening scene from a Call of Duty game we are just frantically running from place to place as explosions go off all around us, with thick clouds of smoke obscuring our field of vision and chaos reigning supreme. We started off with a plan and an objective, and now all we are trying to do is find a safe place to catch our breath and re-evaluate. All those grandiose thoughts of pursuing our God-given “destiny” can quickly disappear in the rearview mirror of a vehicle named “necessity”… and when we try to pick them back up again it is easy to believe that we “missed our opportunity”. Perhaps we made some poor decisions, or the choices of others negatively impacted our path. Maybe we got caught up chasing our own dreams instead of His, or we had to wait for those souls who are destined to take this journey with us to be ready to join us… whatever the reason is for us arriving at the place we are in now, there is one thing that all of these paths share in common. The right dream still requires the right time and the right place for it to reach maximum effectiveness… we must take these gifts where they belong.
The book of Esther occupies an interesting period of time in the Old Testament… long after the Davidic dynasty and the fall of Jerusalem, we find the Jewish people in a bit of an interlude. The Persian Empire was ruling the area after their conquest of Babylon, and the Lord’s chosen people were interspersed throughout the kingdom. After all of the slavery, captivity, and subjugation they had been exposed to, there was yet another chapter that was about to unfold that would bring an unlikely heroine out of the woodwork and into the heart of a genocidal conspiracy against her people that only she could prevent. And it happened in one of the most unlikely scenarios possible… a year-long beauty pageant to determine a new queen (Esther 2). Against massive odds, the orphan Esther was not only selected to be part of this process but ultimately emerged victorious… gaining the queen’s position and crown. But the Lord did not select her for this position as a reward for her goodness, kindness, or simply because it was something she may have aspired to… it was because she was chosen for this exact time and this specific place to serve a very critical purpose. Esther could not have possibly known the political machinations that were at work behind the scenes, but a wicked enemy of the Jews named Haman was plotting their murder and destruction (Esther 3:8-13). And Esther would be the key to stopping him.
Before we finish the story of Esther, there is a funny thing about the dreams and destinies that the Lord has placed into our hearts that we may not have realized… they do not exist in a vacuum. These dreams are just ONE part of a huge collection of constantly shifting variables that are all flowing in a pattern that we don’t have the ability to fully perceive. But that is because we can’t see the full picture yet… we only see part of the equation (1 Corinthians 13:12). Similar to the DualSense Edge controller from Sony that seemingly came to us out of nowhere and long after we had given up on it, there is a larger plan in place that we are a small but an IMPORTANT part of. Esther’s destiny may have seemed to have been completed by winning the beauty contest as well as the king’s heart, but that was merely setting the stage for her ACTUAL purpose to be fulfilled. As the countdown to the destruction of her people reached the endgame, Esther had a difficult choice to make. She had the ability to intervene but doing so was a massive personal risk. Approaching the king was forbidden unless she had been previously summoned… under penalty of death. And as she pondered this perilous decision, her adoptive father gave her this important advice…
Esther 4:14 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?”
I hope you caught that… her dream was designed to coalesce into a destiny that was all about her future actions in this SPECIFIC time and this SPECIFIC place. Esther had been placed into this position to answer prayers that were not even being prayed yet when she began her journey to the crown. But the Lord who knows ALL things placed her into this position before the need was even present, because the time was coming in which he needed her to be in this exact place to do what ONLY she could do… and she saved her entire people in the process. And as we wrap up this series on our dreams, the final component of seeing these dreams fulfilled finally comes into focus… there is a time and a place for the gifts and callings of the Lord to be discovered, and often a separate time and place for them to be fully unleashed. As Jesus Christ Himself illustrated multiple times during His physical life down here with us, it happens in a time and place of the Father’s choosing, not ours.
John 2:4 Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.”
John 7:6 Then Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready.“
John 7:30 Therefore they sought to take Him; but no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come.
John 12:27 “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.
The DualSense Edge controller that Sony is finally delivering to us may have felt a lot more convenient on the PS4 several years ago, but Sony knew that providing a solution for that particular platform was a misguided use of time and resources. We may have appreciated it at the time, but Sony was more interested in supporting the future they were building than the present they were currently occupying. At the time the Xbox Elite controller launched in 2015, the PS4 was still in the middle of its’ life cycle… but Sony realized that moment in time was simply where they WERE, not where they WOULD be. And after a long, painful, seven-year wait we have finally received our first taste of what Sony has been cooking… at the right time and place for it to happen.
In our lives we will often find that while the Lord has placed unique dreams and callings into each of our hearts, they still have a specific time as well as a particular place to be unlocked. Sometimes it is a matter of timing… Abraham was still living at home when he was promised a distant land that would be given to his non-existent descendants. He was seventy-five years old at the time (Genesis 12)… and he didn’t have that son he was promised until he reached the ripe old age of one hundred (Genesis 21). And other times it is all about the location… Paul was clearly called to be a missionary, but after trying to get there by multiple different paths he was finally directed to the place he was specifically needed to perform that ministry (Acts 16). When we don’t align our efforts with His planning and provision, our best efforts will only lead to frustration, delays, and disappointment. Abraham’s attempt at fulfilling the dream God placed in his heart in the time and place of his own choosing instead of the Lord’s only ended in heartbreak and pain (Genesis 16 and 21), and if Sony had released their first-ever premium controller on a console destined for decommissioning, they would have created a complicated “Ishmael” situation of their own. Instead, they patiently waited for the right time and place for this gift to launch the “Edge”, and it appears their patience as well as ours will be rewarded.
As we saw with the rise of Esther, the power she received was provided exactly when and where she needed it to accomplish a purpose that only she could fulfill…. and once she was in the right place at the right time, she had to choose to display the courage to walk into that destiny with confidence knowing that this was the place and time her gift was designed to be displayed. Her challenging start as an orphan, her complicated backstory as a Jewish woman in a land that was hostile to her people, her lack of royal training… none of that had any bearing on her role as the vessel the Lord selected to deliver her people and fulfill her destiny. When we find ourselves in a similarly uncomfortable place where our dreams have not yet fully connected with our current situation, let’s absorb the message from Esther that she demonstrated when she found her “Edge” and boldly walked into the throne room to serve the purpose the Lord placed on her life. It’s the same lesson that Sony demonstrated when they finally announced their “Edge” controller… there is a specific time and place for the dreams that the Lord has given us to reach fruition. We can’t make them happen prematurely or in a different place than what His purposes call for. But once we have aligned our hearts and actions with His timing and position, we can march forward with confidence knowing the Lord who commissioned us WILL bring us to the outcome He has promised (Joshua 1:9). Will it take longer than we would prefer? Probably. Will it happen in a place outside of our comfort zone? Absolutely. His ways are higher than our ways for a reason (Isaiah 55:9)… He sees beyond where we currently are to the place where He knows that we WILL be. And He places His dreams into our hearts so that when we pursue Him and His will with all of our heart, we will finally find the time and place where they become a reality (Jeremiah 29:13).
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