Yes, Angry Birds.
It’s been around for some time now but I admit to still playing it when I need either mindless distraction or to think very specifically on something. It really is amazing how one thing can offer both. But lots of things are like that for me. It’s all about my intention. Walking is another example. I can just zone out. I can sing and worship God. I can analyze something to death with each step. I can create my shopping list. Or I can carry on a conversation about deep and meaningful things.
And in ALL things God can decide if he wants to speak, right? He is God after all.
Well, the other day He used a quick game of Angry Birds to speak volumes to me.
Well, it was supposed to have been a quick game :)
But there I was though after about 20 minutes (instead of the intended 5) still flinging cannonball birds and penguin bombs at those dang fancy caged Rio Birds, breathing heavy, a small drop of sweat actually forming between my shoulder blades as I sat hunched over my Droid X, when God tapped me on the shoulder and asked me this question...
"What if you purposefully aimed Me at things that were being held captive?"
Of course I Scooby Doo'd God with a "hhuurrhh???"
I clearly heard Him then ask me "How many more bars would be broken on the cages that imprison the captive if you so carefully aimed My Word, My Compassion, My Love, My Patience, My Wisdom, and My Son at them? If you my child worked half as hard contemplating my Word, considering MY timing, MY path, how to approach the one in need with what I teaching you and want to teach you, if you did that with the same consideration as you do this game, then just think what could be happening for my Glory all around you!"
Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with Angry Birds - I for one am all for a little release - and when those pigs grunt and laugh and taunt me, I'm taking as many out as possible, laughing maniacally while doing it too!
It was just a reminder for me that there is a lesson in everything, and also that there is a chance that anything could become an obsession (now don’t confuse this with healthy obsessions, such as my healthy obsession for Mac Powell of Third Day), and that seemingly harmless things can sometimes pull us and distract us unnecessarily.
What I began noticing though with newly opened eyes though was the precision, the intense concentration, the planning, the time, and the emotion with which I played this Angry Birds Game... I mean I am IN THIS THING, aware of the affect it can have on my heart beat, my breathing, how hard I am concentrating, how my heart leaps when I clear a scene with all pigs dead and three stars earned!
So I begin to imagine if I put that much effort forth how much more satisfying it would be to see freedom in Christ occur more often!
This past Sunday Scott told a story of a baby circus elephant that grew up since birth chained to a wooden 6 inch stake driven into the ground. And how as he got older and bigger he never quite realized he could simply pull away from what held him captive and be free - all because he was trained to think he was a captive.
Satan does that to us. We do that to ourselves. Satan does that to our friends.
What if I put all the same Angry Birds effort into digging into Gods Word, learning who Christ really is, what the Holy Spirit truly can do, and believe that I do truly have a God who is "able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us" Ephesians 3:20
But did you catch "according to his power that is at work within us"?
The power that I have because of Christ shed blood and sacrifice, and His Holy Spirit living in me is beyond my comprehension, beyond my understanding, and if I'm being honest - sometimes beyond my belief.
We decide how much of that power works in us - He doesn’t. It’s already there when you become a child of God... when you become a co-heir of Christ to the reward of Heaven its given to us. How much is at work depends on how much of ourselves we are willing to give up, give over. And that means trusting Him enough to give Him anything that holds you back, holds you down, and holds you captive
So as we get closer to the new year, when the holidays get us thinking about what changes we want to make in our lives, how we want to impact our world more, how we would like to be able to grab more of that "abundant life" that Jesus came to give us, I think it’s time we consider making a choice to be all in, to be intentional with our time, our energy, and that we become purposeful and intentional with passion. Be purposeful with how much of Him we want, how much of Him we share, how much more we should aim to go deeper and invest in the lives of others, to finally pull up our own 6 inch stake, and help someone else dislodge theirs.
Its time we fling the biggest weapon we have - and let Him truly set us all free!
Joyfully on the Journey,