Game Over Only Happens if You Don’t Retry

If you’re anything like me, you could probably use some encouragement right now. The world has faced new challenges these past few years and feels more broken than ever. As a believer, you might even feel like you have extra weight on your shoulders because we have a duty to love our neighbors and help bring peace to the world. Without getting too far into politics, you might be in search of the right place to stand that aligns with your beliefs. You might find it difficult to lean on your fellow believer. This feels wrong to say as a leader, but I’ve been dangerously close to throwing in the towel. Not in the sense that I would be giving up my faith, but no longer doing ministry and going to Church. However, I’m not ready to quit and don’t want you who are reading this to do so either.

In video games, a game over screen or loss message appears when your health reaches zero, or you lose a match. Some of the most iconic game over sequences come from The Legend of Zelda, Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil, and Dark Souls. Seeing those sequences too many times can be frustrating and disheartening, right? Personally, I feel like I’ve seen too many of those in real life lately. What keeps me pressing on is the phrase “Fear Not,” which is asked 365 times in the Bible. Isaiah 41:10 NIV is one that I find comfort in: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” It seems that the book of Isaiah often focuses on fear, so that may be the next place to go for further reading on the topic. Though those particular lines of text and animations intend to give players the dreadful feeling of failure, you can fear not there too. This is where the article’s title comes in because those screens offer a spark of hope.

As someone who is a fan of fighting games, I see those screens so much, and hearing “You Lose!” is the worst. My cheeky response is, “Yes, I know,” or “Just rub it in, why don’t you.” However, though the ten seconds they offer for you to try again originally targeted this fear so we would put more coins in at the arcade, I appreciate that it asks players if they wish to continue. As those ten seconds pass, you may see your character in a beat-down state. The best part is when you hit “yes,” we see them snap out of defeat and open their eyes or jump up only to be ready for battle. At this moment in life, hitting “No” might look very appealing right now, but I want to encourage you to keep fighting. 1 Timothy 6:12 says, “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” Whatever the “good fight” looks like to you, don’t let go of that. For me, that good fight is what I am currently called to do—bridge the gap between Christ and pop culture with Geeks Under Grace. And when I’m not doing ministry, it’s to be a positive example of a believer to those around me.

Lastly, I want to give some advice that has helped me immensely during these difficult times—get an accountability group together. I’ve learned that life isn’t meant to be lived like a single-player game with the rest of the world as NPCs (Non-Playable Characters) you pass by along the way; God intended it to be a cooperative adventure. I have a group of guys I talk to almost daily, and they are people I can trust and share my struggles with. They give me advice and encouragement and let me know when I need to make some course corrections too. I think of Matthew 18:20, in which Jesus says, “When two or three are gathered in my name, there I am among them,” If you’re a fan of RPGs (role-playing games), there is no more tremendous passive stat boost than Christ himself. If you’re a fan of shooting games, your accountability group should consist of a squad that will be there when you need a revive or to watch your back and let you know when you’re missing your shots.

A great party can overcome any challenge.

Life probably feels like you’re stuck in Elden Ring right now, and you have many challenges you are unsure how to contend with. I can go on with more advice and clever analogies to our favorite video games on how to live life, but this is just an article of tips and tricks that I hope will benefit someone else. Do you remember when video games once included instruction booklets and manuals? As believers, The Bible is more than a strategy guide—it is our manual on how this game of life is played. We can go through it thinking we know everything in there, but it is essential to constantly refer to those instructions and take in everything the book offers because you may read it differently than you once did. I thank you for reading this, but more importantly, read your Bible. I wrote this for myself, too, because I’m currently going through a severe lack of motivation and needed reminding to fear not, fight the good fight, and do life alongside others. I’m too stubborn to give in to that Game Over screen, and I pray that you feel the same after reading this.

L.J. Lowery

Born in southern California, but currently residing in Lafayette, Louisiana. Loves Hip Hop music, comics, and video games. Events/Media Coordinator, Podcast Producer, and Public Relations.

Leave a Comment