I am quite fond of video games, particularly retro numbers from my childhood. Before the birth of our children (and sometimes after, much to my wife’s annoyance), I often spent hours of downtime locked away with my video game collection.
One of my favourites is a little low-tech game called Terraria. It’s one of those games that is relatively uncomplicated, but is extreme fun. I always love a game where I don’t have to read an encyclopaedia-sized manual before playing. You just stick the CD in, and go.
This little game consists of a 2D virtual world in which you are free to run around and create. You chop wood and mine stone for housing and build what you like.
From time to time you must defend yourself from some nasty creatures that want to take a chunk out of you, but generally the emphasis is on creation, and having fun doing so. I particularly like the mining element to it where you grab your trusty pickaxe and go underground looking for precious minerals with which to construct houses, coins and better weapons to defend yourself with.
Of course, being me, I went a little overboard and mined my way straight to the virtual underworld where I stole the devil’s art collection, which now hangs proudly on my castle’s walls as a trophy.
The crux of this adventure is that, while there are little quests and goals to achieve, the bulk of the game is just being—moving through the world, exploring, creating, living and enjoying the experience. If you don’t want to go on a quest, you don’t have to. If you don’t want to commit art theft in Hades, you don’t have to. It’s just about being, and enjoying existing in a virtual world.
I think it’s a great notion, one that I take into the real world. Sometimes you don’t have to be doing; you just need to focus on being. You have to just be, and enjoy the world God has given us.
It’s not always about achievements, goals and advancement. Whilst these are good things in themselves, rest and enjoying the life God has given us are vitally important. If we stop and smell the roses from time to time, it is amazing and we realise what we have been missing.
My hope is that you are able to find some time to stop and just be with God this week. I guarantee you will be better for it.
*Originally published in The Island Link.