Friday, May 18, 2012

What's Out There?

Most of you who have known me for a while know that I used to be a big Nintendo fan.  Although I played and enjoyed various games from the Big "N," ranging from Super Smash Bros. Melee to Mario Kart 64 to Tetris to Game and Watch Gallery 2, much of my time was spent playing RPGs, especially on my Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance.  I first became familiarized with the turn-based, level-up style of role-playing games by playing Pokémon: Red Version, but I enjoyed a few others, ranging from later "pocket monsters" titles to Golden Sun and its sequel to classic Final Fantasy games to even Mario Golf. (Yes, the latter title really was an RPG on Game Boy Color; look it up if you don't believe me.)  However, the one problem I had was that, for reasons we don't need to get into, I never actually beat any of the games all by myself, so, in some of the games, I spent my time walking around aimlessly and doing the same non-essential things again and again instead of completing whatever task(s) that would allow me to win the game and be the victor.  Some of you may wonder how that's possible in a video game, but among the typical features of role-playing games are save files and walk-around levels; such titles have few similarities to old-school favorites like Pac-Man and Super Mario Bros.  Although video games are known for being time-wasters, playing them the way I did was even worse, because I didn't accomplish a thing during that time, including beating the game.
What's my point in bringing that up? Simply this: Sometimes, I feel as if what I used to do in video games, I'm now doing in real life.  It's not that I don't do anything productive with my time; I work all day on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and am very grateful to have a job, especially in this economy.  Even on my own time, I make cards for people, help my parents and others with tech-related tasks, hunt for bargains at yard/garage sales and similar places, go to church three times a week, read quite a bit, and the like.  Still, I can't help but feel like there's something/some things I'm not doing that would lead to a better, richer, and/or more productive life if I were to do it/them.  What it is/they are, I don't know.  How to go about finding out what it is/they are, I also don't know.  What would happen if I were to succeed at that/those thing(s)? Would I find romance? Would I become able to live on my own? Would I become financially successful? Again, I don't know.
My loyal readers have probably noticed a recent increase in allusions/references to the Bible in my posts, even in parodies such as "Just End It (File, Quit)".  I've realized that God and His Word were taking a backseat to less important topics such as celebrities, shopping, technology, etc., and it shouldn't be that way.  Granted, it's not wrong to discuss non-Biblical subjects, but I was posting so much about Victoria Justice, garage sales, my past, and a few other topics that some people may have wondered whether I still believed in Jesus...but I never stopped.  Here's how my faith applies to what I said in the previous paragraphs: I believe that every life has a purpose.  Whether someone lives less than ten hours or more than ten decades, he/she is here for a reason.  Although I believe there's a general purpose for the creation of humankind in the first place, I also feel that every individual has at least one reason why he/she is where he/she is.  I'm reminded of the story of Elizabeth Vidos, a Christian percussionist who toured both with Stomp and CCM singer Bebo Norman.  Here's what she had to say in the August 2001 issue of CCM Magazine:
“Everything changed when I saw ‘STOMP’ on HBO my last year of college. Then I traveled to Mobile, [Ala.,] to see it live. I asked how many people auditioned for a spot and was told ‘about a thousand,’ so I put it out of my mind. But when [my] campers told me I had to, I called and left my name and number on an answering machine.  I spent a couple of months at home that summer. I kept asking God, ‘Please show me why I’m here!’ About 11 one night, I found my dad lying on the floor; he’d just had a stroke. God told me, ‘I just needed you there for that one moment.’ Two weeks later ‘STOMP’ called. The way that it all worked out shows God’s fingerprints all over my life.”
You know, sometimes, I feel the same way.  Last month, I went to my friends' anniversary party, and there was a online video that they wanted everyone to see.  The problem was that they were using someone else's laptop, which didn't have the correct browser or necessary plug-ins.  They ended up being really glad I was there, because I had the technological know-how to know exactly what needed to be done and how to do it.  When I first arrived at that party, I had no idea such skills would come in handy; I'm not sure what they would have done without me.  There are countless other incidences like that throughout my life, but this applies to all of them: Where others might see coincidence, I see God.  It's impossible to know the mind of the Lord, but, if I had to guess, I would say that where I am now is where He wants me to be, even though others may feel otherwise.  Yet, that lingering feeling is still there: Is there another step I haven't taken? Is there another chapter of my life that won't begin until I let it? I really don't know...but, for now, I'm happy with who I am, where I am, and how I am.  No, I'm not perfect; I mess up from time to time, just like we all do.  There may be all sorts of adventures awaiting me in the future; only time will tell.  At this time, though, I'll just press on with my life and see where God leads me; all of us, including me, might very well be surprised by what happens to me in the future.  Seriously, how many of you are exactly where you thought you would be years ago at this point in your lives? Didn't think so.
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