Late last Thursday night, I saw an ad for an online world-building strategy game. I was in the mood to try something different. I clicked on the ad. And there went my life.
An animated woman showed up to guide me through the first steps of the game. She spoke in soothing, hypnotic tones about what a great leader I am. It was pretty creepy, but intriguing nonetheless. I got addicted to the game within minutes.
The addiction is rather insane. It’s like my brain thinks that the numbers on the screen are actually important somehow. As if “having” 300,000 gold and 100,000 lumber is meaningful. I don’t actually “have” those things, of course. I am only playing a game that has numbers in it. If I win the game, my life won’t be any better off. In fact, I’ll be worse off, because I am ignoring what is actually important.
Years ago, my mom passed along a story she’d heard from a preacher, about a Monopoly game. This preacher had played a pretty good game against his family. He had a great time with all that Monopoly money, while his loved ones mortgaged their properties and prayed for Free Parking.
Then, when the game was over, they made him put it all back in the box. And he got to use it as a sermon illustration.
A Course in Miracles says that we are insane because we equate ourselves with our bodies. But life teaches us that, no matter how much we value our bodies, it all goes into the box at the end of the game. This is not to say that we should not care for our bodies. However, our human inclination is to put value on the physical part of our lives (wealth, comfort, fame, etc) at the expense of what is really important – what will survive our bodies when the game is over.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to check on my game.