A friend of mine, Ben Larkin has explored for some time the idea of being an online missionary through the media of online gaming. In the past, I have used email, blogging and Facebook reasonably effectively to communicate with other Christians, to become aware of other ministries and to befriend non Christians across the globe. Over the last few years I have been amazed at the level of trust strangers have shown me, as they have shared with me deep and personal issues, asking me to pray with and for them. I have had on some occasions the pleasure of sharing the gospel, and to discuss the things of God.
Over the last 3 weeks, I have become involved in an online game called War Commander. Apart from an odd game of Scrabble or Poker, its the first time I have have experienced online gaming. My player name is The Drover. In this post I want to explore some of the good and the not so good aspects of this experience.
Firstly, the good. Over the last few weeks, I have met a large number of people, many of whom have added me as friends on face book. During this time I have had some significant conversations, resulting in prayer and ongoing discussion. I have met a number of Christians, shared the gospel with those who are interested and even made contact with some people who live close by.
However, like all things there are also some things that have a not so good component to it. The game is extremely addictive. There have been times that I have played it all day and in doing so I have ignored family and friends. Things I should have done, have not been done.
The reality is that all of life has a mixture of good and the not so good and the downright sinful. The online game can be replaced with sport, work, study, holidays and leisure, drinking and eating, ministry and a plethora of many other events of life. There is a tension where we need to take stock of life and know when enough is enough. What are the things in our lives that we use for escapist purposes. Are there things in our lives which we use as an excuse to escape other responsibilities. Do we give things a priority which in reality do not deserve such a position.
For myself, once again its been time to take note and to re-evaluate life. I have been invited to join a group with the idea of looking into the possibility of a new local church plant. There is the resuming of studies, which require some serious knuckling down. And I have recently become a board member of a local charity. This is on top of my other normal activities. Therefore once again I face a re-structuring and reprioritising of life. The truth is, that this is a regular part of my life. Sometimes I do this on a automatic regular basis without even being conscious of what I am doing. Other times I take time out to sit, pause, reflect and pray; so that under God, I can once again take control of life and not let life take me out of control.