Little Mindless Game

I am hooked on a little mindless game.  I asked my son to recommend a little mindless game, andpac man button he did.  2048.  It’s all about moving digitized tiles around so that they progressively add up to powers of 2.   I was really proud of myself when I broke through the 10,000 point barrier and patted myself on the back.   Then a few weeks ago he casually mentioned that his point score was over a million. I asked him how he did it.  Sagely, he replied “You just have to keep the big numbers out of your way.”    I applied myself to this strategy with diligence, only to never break past 7,000 points.   Just when I was feeling my age and technological ineptitude, my very bright boy flashes his phone screen in front of me.   The tiles are gridlocked.   He told me to look again.  Every tile in the grid was a different power of two.   It was impossible to go any further in the game.   He left me in the dust.

Incredulous at his feat, I grabbed the phone to study the screen.  That’s when I saw it.  I shrieked.  He laughed.  His version of the game had an “undo” button!   He could play the game and when a move didn’t work, simply undo it and go on.   My version of the game has no such luxury.  I mess up, and it’s game over time.   “Not fair!” I screeched.  He laughed.  “It’s just a little mindless game!” he cajoled.

Or is it?   Does it ever seem to you that your version of the game is somehow different from other people’s,  and didn’t come with the instructions?  Then you noticed other people had cheat sheets, which you didn’t even realize existed?

Then when you display a little righteous indignation, someone pats you gently on the arm and tells you it really doesn’t matter, it’s just a little mindless game.  Or maybe they tell you that the game is passe and no one really cares about it anymore.  They have moved on to the next little mindless game while you are still working out how to play this one.   You laugh and shrug it off.  Tomorrow is a new day.

It is after all, a little mindless game.  Unless of course, it’s not.

Now you know the Gospel.   There is an undo button.    It might not take you back to the exact undo buttonplace you were, and in fact usually doesn’t.  Out of the gridlock and wreckage, the undo button is like the mysterious “system restore” button on the computer.  (Didn’t know about that one either, perhaps?)   Tomorrow really is a new day.  Have courage, be of good cheer.

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About Pastor Betsy Williams

I am a mom. And a wife. And a Friend. And a homeowner. And a dog ...uh....owner? Actually make that two dogs. Two kids. One husband. I'm an ELCA Lutheran pastor of a beautiful downtown church. I am the third senior pastor in a century, so my 10-12 years here may feel like an interim to some of the folks here. Recently I have had no spare time. In my spare time in the future, my imagination inhabits a novel I am writing, The Funeral Preacher. My primary blog is a personal reflection on the Revised Common Lectionary...mostly: "Not All Who Wander are Lost." A few years ago I was on a team of writers who produced a little book for Augsburg Fortress in the Washed and Welcome series called "Living the Promises." It's 101 ideas for helping parents and godparents nurture their children in the faith of their baptism. I am developing another blog, more about worship at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Newark, Ohio and including a summary of the past week's preaching. Otherwise, I imagine myself to be a musician, liturgical artist, cook in a five star restaurant where the patrons keep ordering chicken nuggets, but never a bottle washer. I know how to delegate and share.
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