Monday, October 10, 2011

Save Point

With the new Zelda game just a few weeks away from release (at least, this is what we hope), we've been playing a fair amount of old Zelda around the house. And by we, I mean my kids. Mostly because they destroy me at video games and it's just kind of embarrassing to play so poorly in front of these people.

Anyway, a few months ago we downloaded Majora's Mask on our Wii and the kids have finally started trying to play it for real. This incarnation of Zelda is significantly different than most other Zelda games in lots of ways. The game play is far less linear. The side quests are fairly essential this time compared to most games where they are optional. But the thing that is most frustrating about this particular game is the distinct lack of save points.

In most Zelda games, you can save pretty much any time you want. You might have to start a temple back at the beginning if you shut it down, but you won't have to beat bosses again, you'll have all of the money and weapons that you have collected, and any shortcuts that you've opened will remain open. Saving in Majora's Mask is significantly more complicated. Because the whole thing takes place over the course of three days, in order to save, you need to go back to the first day over and over again. But if you don't do it correctly, you will lose everything that you've accomplished so far. And if you don't finish the first part in a reasonable amount of time, you have to start the whole thing over again. So my kids will sit and play for a while, not finish and all of the time spent playing will be wasted because they have to do everything over again.

It's a pretty exhausting way to play a video game.

It's also an exhausting way to live as a Christian.

We get started in our faith journey and then we start doing things. We gather the things that we need to be good Christians. We win battles, defeat enemies. We level up in church and upgrade our armor of God. We do and we do and we do.

Then we encounter life. One of those demons that we wrestled to the ground and thought that we beat comes back. Illness, death, or sadness enter our lives and we find out that the armor that we thought was strong doesn't hold up in the face of that pain. The church that was a source of comfort becomes a place hurt and doubt creeps in. We search frantically, looking for a save point, something that let's us keep what we've earned so far.

And we miss the most beautiful save point. Grace.

Grace that doesn't require us to strive. Grace that doesn't require us to collect or stockpile or level up. Grace that has already won the game.

The game is much more fun when you know the Save Point.


Where do you struggle to apply grace to your life? Do you have a favorite video game?


1 comment:

  1. You know, that may just be the most unique and interesting take on the concept of Grace that I've run into in years, if not decades.


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