For the first time in quite a while, I picked up a new game on the day of launch at full price… no scouring of reviews to make sure it was well received by other gamers and free of game-breaking bugs, no waiting until it went on sale or showed up on a streaming service like Microsoft’s Game Pass or Sony’s PlayStation Plus, I just BOUGHT it. As a player who is relatively risk averse as well as incredibly frugal, this was a BIG decision. But because I had already built a high level of trust in the developers who created Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, I was completely comfortable and confident that the same hands who artfully created an outstanding original Star Wars title could do the same thing again with Star Wars Jedi: Survivor. And so far, that trust has paid off… the continuing adventures of Cal Kestis, a Jedi who survived Order 66 (so far), have remained as compelling and fun-to-play as the first title in this series of games. But picking up this game has come at a cost… and I am not just talking about the price tag. This game is BIG… and I am not just talking about the size of the worlds to explore. The installation size for this game is a robust 134 GB for the console I am playing it on… and even though the Series X console has 1TB of space, the usable amount of space available is closer to 800 GB after the system files are accounted for. Playing Jedi Survivor forced me to clear a serious amount of space for it to be accessible for me… and that not only means I had to delete some really good games I had already purchased for it to fit on my console, but it also appears I won’t have room for anything else for the foreseeable future.
Most commitments in life present us with options to either have our cake or eat it, but rarely do we get to have our cake and eat it, too. And sure, I suppose I could pick up an external hard drive to prevent deleting some of the games I had already installed, but what is the point of that? I bought Jedi Survivor to PLAY it, not them. I barely have time to play a video game for an hour or so each week as it is, and I certainly don’t have the luxury of playing two games simultaneously. As hard as it was to create space for this mammoth install, it was necessary if I wanted to get to play this new experience. I had to make the difficult choice and decide what I was willing to give for what I was wanting to have. The choice would have been MUCH easier if I was deleting terrible games like Anthem off of my hard drive… I would have actually enjoyed that. But I was choosing between games that I had previously downloaded, enjoyed, and was still in the act of playing. They were GOOD games, and there was nothing wrong with them other than the fact that I needed the space they were currently occupying for what I was going to play next. And choosing between “good”, “better”, and “best” is an often uncomfortable and painful part of our daily realities… and one that has implications far beyond the games we choose to play.
This “good, better, best” concept is a delicate balance that we all have to contend with as we make decisions in our daily lives… from our relationships, education decisions, career choices, and even in our spiritual lives we are constantly selecting options from the menu that life is offering us that come at the expense of the other paths we could have chosen. As we scan that “menu”, we see appetizers that sound intriguing, entrees that look fulfilling, and desserts that we would like to save room for. But as the sheer number of potential possibilities begin to overwhelm us with the luxury of choices at our disposal, we begin to realize that we simply don’t have the capacity to indulge in every option we would like all at once. And at that point a tough decision needs to be made on what we are going to prioritize and what we are willing to sacrifice in exchange. It is much easier to sacrifice an option that includes something that is clearly terrible… like green beans because they are awful, they are not even actually food, and nobody should ever eat them. (Life hack: sometimes the server will be kind and allow them to be replaced for something that isn’t vile and disgusting. Make sure you ask… nobody should have to eat them.) But when we are choosing from “good, better, and best”, the choices become a little bit murkier, and the decisions become much more difficult. And since we can’t have all of them at once, and some of them come at the permanent exclusion of others, what we choose in these situations will have life-altering ramifications. It’s time to solve this puzzle…
During Christ’s time on earth, he amassed a large number of followers from every possible walk of life. And as He walked among us, His most common invitation was for those He was speaking with to come and “follow Him”. But here is the interesting thing… He let EVERYONE come to Him, regardless of their previous background, social status, or even contagious illnesses. But the choice as to “how close” they would come to Him as well as how closely they would continue to follow Him was completely up to them. It is a common misconception that Jesus only had twelve followers… the truth is that while He had twelve individuals defined as “disciples”, He had more people than that who made the choice to continually follow Him wherever He went… in Luke 8 we find this passage that shows that Jesus had three named female followers (Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Susanna) as well as more that were unnamed:
Luke 8:1-3 Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him from their substance.
Additionally, when it came time for Judas to be replaced amongst the twelve disciples, the prerequisite for placement was that whoever was chosen had to have been travelling with them from the very beginning of Christ’s ministry to His ascension as seen in Acts 1…
Acts 1:21-22 Therefore, of these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John to that day when He was taken up from us, one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.
So, this means that while there were far more people who persistently followed Jesus from “Day One” than we are probably aware of, there were also some that had made the choice to press into a relationship with Him far deeper than the others. Over the years of Christ’s ministry, people made the choice to seek Christ for many different reasons… some came in desperate need of physical or spiritual healing (Luke 8), many came seeking understanding and wisdom (John 3), and others came looking for the Messiah (Matthew 11). And the amazing thing is that He allowed Himself to be found by all of them, and provided what they needed as they came to Him… He healed the sick (Luke 6:18-19), He fed the hungry (Matthew 14), He embraced the children (Matthew 19), He stood up for the fallen (John 8), and He set captives free (Luke 8). But while all who came to Jesus received something “good” (Acts 10:38), only those who chose to make room in their life to continue to sacrificially follow Him AFTER they got their needs met and their prayers answered would receive what was “better”… and it was an even smaller group who persisted in pressing in close to Him who received what was “best”.
The truth about following Christ is that those who were closest to Him during His “planet-side” journey were those willing to give the most of themselves… Jesus healed all who came to Him, but once they received what they wanted or when He presented wisdom that they didn’t want to receive, they tended to return home (John 6:66). Jesus shared His deep spiritual wisdom with the religious leaders who sought to understand His challenging doctrine, but those that believed in Him still chose to do so secretly to protect their reputation (John 19:38-39). Only those who chose to give all and follow Him with reckless abandon were rewarded with His true friendship… He hand-picked His disciples, but all who were willing to be named as His followers were able to make that choice for themselves as well as decide exactly how close to Him they wanted to be.
Much like my decision on what to delete on my hard drive to make room for Jedi Survivor, we all have a choice to make beyond the decision to simply “follow” Christ… what experience with Him do we want in our lives, and what are we willing to sacrifice in order to have it? Do we want to follow Him at a distance that is close enough to hear His voice and access Him for answered prayers, but never intimate enough to be called by name? Or are we seeking the depth of a relationship that only comes from placing Him at the center of our hard drive, even if that means that it comes at the expense of things that aren’t bad, but they aren’t “best”? There is a plethora of pursuits in life that are healthy, wholesome, and positive to engage in, and a relationship with the Lord does not mean we cannot also have hobbies and interests that run parallel to that commitment. But we all only have 24 hours in the day and a limited amount of “hard drive space” to fill… the question we must ask ourselves is what percentage of that is dedicated to Him? How much of our time is allotted to the good, the better, and the best?
In my final decision-making process on what needed to go in order to make room for Jedi Survivor, it came down to this… some of these gaming experiences were good, and even represented a previous investment of my time that I hated to lose. But if I am being honest with myself and the realities of the time that I have available, I will never be in a position to go back to them. And if I do, it will be at the expense of something far more valuable. While it hurt to delete them, the places where I am going next do not include them… they will only serve to weigh me down or tempt me to look back. And in my relationship with Christ, pressing closer to Him will mean moving farther from those things that once represented my life. Mary Magdalene made the decision to follow the Lord so closely that she remained steadfastly committed to Him even when it appeared that He had failed in His mission (John 20:1-18). John followed Christ to the foot of His cross even when his fellow disciples fled, refusing to leave even as Christ drew His last breath without any fear of His association with Him (John 19:25-27). Those souls who were closest to Christ during His time on earth were measured by their willingness to give the most. We ALL make a choice about how closely we want to follow Him, and what we are prepared to give up in order to grow our relationship with Him… and we can only receive what we make room for.
That copy of Jedi Survivor would still be sitting in the install queue waiting to deliver the experience I have been waiting for if I didn’t make a conscious decision to make room for it. I would own the game, sure… but I wouldn’t have access to all of the incredible benefits of actually being able to PLAY it. And when we think of our relationship with the Lord, the same concept rings true… our connection to Him is limited to the amount of space we have made for Him in our lives. Do we want to merely “possess” a relationship with Him as a follower, or are we desiring the full experience of those who pushed past their need for answered prayers and into a desire to make their pursuit of Him the defining characteristic of their lives? My commitment to Jedi Survivor is measured by more than my interest in acquiring it… it is also measured by the space I chose to make for it. It is the largest game on my hard drive, taking up the majority of my storage capacity. And when we think of our time with the Lord, these are the same challenging questions we must ask ourselves. There are plenty of “good” options in life, just as there are plenty of “good” games. There are even some that are better than others… but there is only one “best”. And when we make room for the “best” and place Christ at the center of our time, our pursuits, and our thoughts we will find that all of the other parts will find their proper place in the equation. As Martha found when trying to get the attention of her sister Mary, there are good things, better things, and “best” things…let’s take some time today to do that “best” thing and bring more than just our needs and concerns to the Lord. Let’s bring our full, undivided attention to Him and clear some room on that hard drive. We choose our proximity to the Master’s voice… let’s move close enough to hear His every whisper.
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Categories: Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Gaming, God, Jesus, Uncategorized, Video Games
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