Juxtaposition (A Comparison of Realities)

Dear Mr. Murray,

You long for the world’s greatest FTP MMORPG (Free to Play Massive Multiplayer Online Roll Playing Game) with the following features:

  • It must be compatible with both PC and Mac.
  • It must be a mix of machinery and magic, set in the future, yet with some old-school styles.
  • The graphics have to be insanely real and/or cool, making you feel worthy of such an awesome look.
    • It must run at the utmost of smoothness, making the game run at ease.
    • It must be 3D, and the kind where you click and your character goes/attacks, including WASD keyboard movement.
  • At the beginning of such a game, the character creation process has to be like a creative mind explosion containing, races, classes, customization galore, and stat combinations making your character very unique.
    • The race selection process must be a sense of teamwork spirit which will never end.
    • The classes must go farther than the simple warrior, mage, ranger, and mechanic.
  • Your username must be epic, short, simple, and above all else, not taken.
  • The tutorial must make you like the game and not get bored right away.
  • The weapon, armor, and upgrade variety must expand beyond anything else, including personal customization of armor and weapons.
  • The maps must go on and on, containing 1000’s upon 1000’s of different monsters and bosses.
  • There must be a strong sense of community, not big enough too make you feel like an ant, but not small enough to make you feel like a giant at level 30.
    • There must be a simple leveling up system, making the max level around 65 or so.
  • The PvP (player versus player) and PvE (player versus environment) must have many different parts to it.
    • When not in towns/outposts, one race is able to fight against the other.
    • There must be a part of the game when all races may come together to fight for a certain goal benefiting that race.
    • If you’re super awesome and OP (over powered), you get recognized in some way by rankings.
    • When playing against monsters, the environment must be interactive.
  • The battles must be fast paced and epic like none else.
  • May Americans play it and none else. Inter-communication is just the worst when it comes to MMO’s.
  • The stats and skills must be vast and upgradable in creative ways, making PvE and PvP an extremely strategic yet fulfilling process.
  • There must be an endless list of quests which get harder and more exciting as you play on and on.
  • A good guild system must be in place.
  • A good party system (forming groups with others in situations) must be in place.
  • Obviously, some places must be restricted until a certain level.
  • There must be a pet system.
  • There must be a cool travel system.
  • And may everything else not be said, but merely implied by the self view of perfection.

However, Mr. Murray, before you drool over your laptop, let us get things straight: even when you have found a game that has come close to such expectations, you still walked away unsatisfied. And when dissatisfaction had strangled countless hours out of you, you blamed your dissatisfaction on the fact that the game failed to meet your standards.

Now, on the other hand, here are the features of the alternative:

  • Compatibility? It is reality.
  • Awesome graphics? Well, you can’t see it.
    • But if you could, you would see that the dark forces are scarier than all human concoctions of scariness throughout history put together.
    • If you could, you would see the strength of the kind of armor and steel upon the finest of warriors carved throughout the fiercest of flames and forged in the darkest of storms.
    • If you could, you would see evil at its height, surrounding every area of all human existence.
    • But if you turned around, you would see the greatest Protagonist to ever walk the face of earth, heaven, and hell, holding out His hand for your servitude.
  • Customization? You lay your life upon the alter of sacrifice, and the Lord and lords and King of kings (creator of all creativity, therefore infinitely creative) will carve a masterpiece out of a rotting piece of wood.
  • PvP and PvE? There is none; only PvS (player versus sin).
    • The enemy of sin is infinitely more dangerous than an atomic bomb lit for all eternity.
    • It is everywhere, so warfare will never be in lacking.
  • Win-loss ratio? The only fight that has ever needed being fought was won by your King. To wield His victory in every battle is to secure a win that will go down upon the pages of eternity.
  • Guild-party system? You have the Church, a band of fellow soldiers that, if following heavenly orders, will be willing to aid you to the ends of the earth if able to.
  • Skill-stat system? It is called sanctification. The more you allow God to work in your life, the more faith that you will have. Faith is simply the coinage for purchasing the already purchased (by the cross) promises of God.
  • Level up system? It is called faith. The more of it that you have, the more impossibilities will be possible.
  • Quests? The Lord of hosts has an endless list of souls to save and battles to win by means of prayer and humility, bringing honor and glory to Himself which will never fade.
  • Battles? They are difficult like none else, yet the rewards that they reap can never rot or be forgotten in the heavenly realms.
  • Other players? All of humanity is involved and is consequentially at stake for how you go about it.
  • Fulfillment? To rely fully upon your God is to be fulfilled to the utmost. Show Him your faith, and He will show Himself faithful (which is not reliant upon your faith, for His name is Faithful and True, but His work in your life is reliant upon your faith).

Final clarification: the first one destroys you, and the second one not only saves you, but redeems you into the army of the Lord of hosts, fully committed to His glory and honor.

Free will is a gift, but any gift from God is always given with the intention of being given back to His will.

Count the cost.

Sincerely,

The Person of Grace

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Simplicity

No matter how many books I read..
No matter how many hymns I sing..
No matter how many spiritual songs I hear..
No matter how many friends pat me on the back..
No matter how many accusations harass my thoughts..
No matter how many times I try to figure out life..
It all comes down to this:

Jesus Christ.

Simplicity: He died in my place with the final words, “It is finished!”

All I need do is believe.

The Helen Keller Within Us All

I went to the last play by CB Productions that I will ever see: The Miracle Worker.

It was a play about Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller.

I have literally spent hours trying to put my introspection to words, meanwhile deleting everything that I type because I find it impossible to articulate not just how incredible the play was, (Kyra Heaps became Helen Keller: enough said) but how deeply moved I am by the comparison of Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller, to Jesus Christ and the Christian.

All of that to say: I give up.

However, suffice it to say this:
If only every Christian could see how desperately Christ wants to communicate with us. He literally gave His life so that He could be our eyes, our ears, our hands, and our feet. He continuously woos us to Himself, willing to go to whatever length it may take to show us that He is the way, the truth, and the life. His disciplinary measures are capable of stripping away everything that we have in order to simply show us that we must be fully reliant upon Him to live according to God’s means and will. And even when He does go to such measures, it is all too easy for us to flail our arms and mistake His love for hate. However, even when He disciplines us in the harshest of ways, although we can’t visibly see Him, audibly hear Him, or physically touch Him, we must remember that He does what He does out of love and not out of hate (Proverbs 3:12, Hebrews 12:6). When Helen Keller was learning to communicate, Annie Sullivan did whatever it took to teach her. Likewise, Christ died on a cross in order to become our only means to communicate with God, and communication with God is the only way for a Christian to successfully live according to the Word of God. Only when we realize our dependence upon Christ may we love Him with everything that we are, humbling submitting to everything that He and the Father would have us to do. All to say, we love Him because He first loved us (I John 1:19).

And even when we can’t see that, hear that, or sense that, we must never forget,

“We live by faith and not by sight” (II Corinthians 5:7).

Our Wedding Day

Ring

Dear my lovely future wife,

Our wedding day will be beautiful. Whether it’s raining, snowing, sleeting, cloudy, or sunny, it will be beautiful. But all appearances aside, that day will represent the most horrific (yet most glorious) moment in history.

The day of our marriage will represent the day of Christ’s marriage to the Church.

In trudging up Calvary, He walked up the aisle. In spilling His blood, He signed the legal documents. In shouting, “It is finished!” He sealed His vows. In giving up His spirit, it was as if He gave His first marital kiss to His beloved bride.

That was the day selflessness was carried out like never before. And that day will be our day.

In marrying you, I will be signing my death warrant. Vice versa, in marrying me, you will be signing your death warrant. Because just as Jesus Christ died for the Church, and the Church is meant to die for Christ, I will be vowing to die for you, and you will be vowing to die for me. Such a commitment is the only way that our marriage might truly bring about the greatness that God has always intended for marriage.

When we walk down the aisle hand in hand, it will be as if Christ was taken down from the cross and carried to His grave.

But never forget my dear, it was only then that His marriage began,

And the grave could not say otherwise.

Love, your loving future husband.