Why I’m Bad at Video Games, and What That Has to Do With Mass
When I was in middle school, everyone had a Nintendo – and I’m talking about the original Nintendo Entertainment System. It looked like a sideways toaster and you put the Mario Bros. / Duck Hunt cartridge in, and if it didn’t work, you just blew on it and then for some reason it worked! It may have been the only piece of technology that works better after you spit on it.
Anyway, they had been out for years, so the price had kept coming down. So, seriously everyone I knew had one. Anytime I would go to a friend’s house, we would play Nintendo. Man, my friends were good at games like RBI Baseball, Zelda, and Contra (I wrote a song about that last one).
However, even though all my friends were amazing at these games, I was horrible. In fact, I still am. Probably always will be. I’ve never beat Super Mario Bros., despite using every cheat and warp zone. Actually, I’ve never beaten any video game, come to think of it.
I blame it on my parents. I begged for a Nintendo. I tried guilting them into it by letting them know that all my friends had one… every single one of them! My parents were unfazed. It was as if they didn’t care if I was bad at video games!
Now, years later, I don’t enjoy video games. I have absolutely no desire to play any game on a Playstation, Wii, Xbox, PC, phone, or tablet. The first thing I do when I get a computer or phone is uninstall the games. I don’t care if it uses controllers, joysticks, paddles, magic wands, or mind power — it doesn’t sound like fun to me.
Why? Because I’m not good at video games, and it isn’t fun to do things that I’m not good at. I play guitar and ukulele and the hard part about learning an instrument, is getting good at it. It isn’t fun to practice, but it is fun to play a song well after all the practice.
Our Faith isn’t that far off. Some people say that Mass is boring, but Mass is the ultimate prayer. In order to understand it and appreciate it, we need to practice praying. The more we pray, read Scripture, learn about our Faith, and serve others, the better we get at those things.
Just sitting in a room where people are playing Mario Kart has never helped me to actually improve at Mario Kart. If I wanted to get good at playing video games, I would need to pick up the controller and play more often. I would have to take action and get involved.
The truth is, I don’t care about video games. I’m pretty sure I didn’t miss any test questions in school, or get fired from a job because I didn’t know how to beat level 181 in Candy Crush. What I do care about is my relationship with Christ, and that will only improve if I put in the effort.
If you aren’t enjoying Mass, youth group, reading the Bible, or learning more about the teachings of Christ, then let me challenge you to work harder. It is the most important thing you can do and the more time you spend in prayer, the more you will enjoy it.
At the end of your life, no one will ask you your highest score on Crossy Road or Plants vs. Zombies, but, “did you love God, and love others?” Your journey of faith will have an eternal reward. Invest in things that matter.
And by the way, I am not any holier than video game players. I waste my time in other ways. So, do as I say, not as I do.