Jesus and Mafia Wars
For the past few years (yes, literally years) I have been playing a Facebook game, Mafia Wars. This game is hosted by Zynga and played through your Facebook identity. According to here Zynga made 270 Million dollars. Mafia Wars is the largest game on Facebook and has more players than any other game. I have managed to meet some wonderful people all over the world who also play Mafia Wars but I have often wondered how much we treat Jesus like we treat Mafia Wars. See, the essence of Mafia Wars is to click the mouse a bunch of times until we get rewarded, then we move on. There is no real thought or strategy but, for some, if you pay enough real money you can be a strong player who always wins. Either way all you do is click a mouse and wait to be rewarded. Other than a possible empty wallet there are no real life consequences or impact of this game.
Do we ever treat Jesus that way? We log in and talk to Jesus and then wait to be rewarded? Sometimes it can feel like if we do enough or pay enough money that we are betters/strong/more spiritual than the people who don’t do as much as we do. Or sometimes, we sit there for hours and think that we are doing well when in reality none of what we are doing matters in real life?
If our faith is boring I can see why people have lost interest in faith the same way people have lost interest in Mafia Wars.
However, if Jesus is better than Mafia Wars and following Jesus is more exciting than click a mouse over and over again then the interest and excitement stay?
Maybe following Jesus isn’t about logging in and paying money but it is about being like Jesus.
This one time, Jesus is sitting in a house talking to some very religious people and these guys cut a hole in the roof and lower their paralyzed friend down and Jesus looks at the guy and says “You are forgiven.” When these really religious people get mad at him (because you can only forgive people who hurt you, Jesus just met this guy) Jesus says “Look, get up and walk.” AND THE GUY DOES! Imagine being there, imagine the excitement of the room and the stunned feeling as this man suddenly felt his toes again for the first time?
Another time, Jesus is walking towards Jerusalem and he is hungry. Jesus walks up to a Fig tree that is supposed to have food on it, but it didn’t. Now, to the people who lived in that time the Fig Tree is like the American Flag to Americans. Jesus looks at this and curses the fig tree and it withers and dies. The effect of this would have been like lighting the flag on fire. It would have enraged some and stunned others but either way there was an impact on people.
This has got to be more intense than Mafia Wars because if it isn’t then it gets boring and Christians end-up sitting around playing Jenga all night. Christians were never meant to play Jenga all night they were meant to be like Jesus; and Jesus was an intense, healing, feeding, leading, temple-destroying man. And when Jesus stood up to speak everyone listened.
So then, is there any way in which you are treating God like Mafia Wars? Has following Jesus gotten boring for you? Have you lost interest in a spiritual life that is nothing more than logging on and waiting for rewards? Why log off and stop praying for God to move in your life and become the movement you have been praying for.