Just this morning, our 9-year old, Alex, reminded me of a deep truth in some very simple terms. He asked me if I’d like to play the new level he created on the Wii U game, Mario Maker. He said, “I think you’ll like it… I call it ‘God’s Path’.”
Here’s a pic…
Alex then began to describe to me how it is laid out. At the beginning, you get to choose one of two paths to take in the game. Each has an initial challenge, with a slight difference… the challenge on the upper path (aka, “God’s Path”) has a green shell… the challenge on the lower path (aka, “the Devil’s Path”) has a red shell. He informed me that green means go, and red means stop. Then he told me that I would definitely want to take the upper path and face the challenge with the green shell. By choosing “God’s Path,” there would be a few challenges along the way, but there would be plenty of “power-ups” provided also to help overcome those challenges. But on “the Devil’s path,” there would be a ton of challenges which could not be overcome… no way to win.
He had my full attention at this point, and I couldn’t wait to play. As directed, I took “God’s Path” first. It was a breeze! I zipped through it with no problems, and when I got to the end, it dropped me out of the tunnel at the top of the flag pole where I could get the highest score and an extra life.
Then Alex says I should try playing “the Devil’s path.” I told him I didn’t want to because I liked “God’s Path” and would never want to take “the Devil’s path.” He replied, “I just want you to see how hard it is, Daddy.” How could I refuse?
So, I took the lower path. What a train wreck! I’m already no gamer. But this path was so full of enemies and challenges, without any power-ups to help me get past them, that I had to re-start over and over… and over and over… and over and over again. And when I finally forced the game to the end, it dumped me out so close to the bottom of the flagpole that I could only get the lowest score possible.
Now, I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I still cut… and I’m at least smart enough to see what he was showing me. Talk about your armchair theologian! This 9-year old kid just laid out for me the truth of the value of choosing to follow God’s plan for my life instead of the enemy’s way.
And on this Friday, I invite you to take a tip from Alex… choose “God’s Path” in real life. Though you may face challenges there, too, they will be far fewer, and you will always have the power you need to overcome them. Conversely, if you choose to take “the Devil’s path,” good luck with that. It’s impossible to complete successfully, and it will cost you what could’ve been.
To quote the famous poem by Robert Frost…
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
Truer words may never have been spoken… unless you count a 9-year old armed with a video game!