Autumn Button-Mashing

Gaming is not an end unto itself.

The autumn season has come into view, along with so many wonderful sights and fond memories. Cool breezes chuckle through the air, removing the strain of an arid summer; leaves giving up their lush green hues to display God’s natural fashion show of color; days past race into my thoughts, where my brothers and I learned what upkeep meant as we raked away the shed life of a tall pecan tree. Then there’s the excuse for button mashing, because the weather is milder and raining more!

While most of the earth’s greenery is dying, gaming is ramping up to present the year’s best. PCs and consoles get a lift as those most anticipated titles finally appear and the earlier releases receive long-sought discounts. The seeds of marketing now give way to reveal those delicately-balanced imaginations and hard work — happy faces and excitement abound as the wait is finally over to play “it.”

Yes, new challenges and worlds await exploration. This time of year serves gaming well… Or is it the other way around? I’ll explain.

When my parents bought a game, the sons were in focus, so we played a lot of games with a shared experience in mind. When chores were completed, if there was an opportunity for button mashing, it was taken. And that time was spent together. It’s as if that crisp Autumn air refreshed my joy in having brothers. It was more than welcome, that any play time was an “us” time.

We always want to share what we enjoy.

Yeah, as I think about it, most of our gaming was done together either directly or with a sibling playing the role of audience for the time being. It was another “something” we had in common.

“While many think of the season in terms of retail sales, it’s more about making room for God’s love and relationships.”

We’re adults now and yet the joy from gaming like that hasn’t shriveled up. Autumn continues to transport me to the place where family and gaming meet. But what changed over time is my perspective. What I just shared wasn’t the focus back then. The experiences just happened to unfold that way. Now the focus isn’t gaming itself, but what it serves.

The service of gaming

Gaming serves my joy in Jesus and the relationships He’s granted me. It aids me in seeing my family come together and enjoying their unique personalities.  It unpacks the communication my wife and I have in a different way, continuing to grow closer to one another as I enjoy seeing her have a good time with Mario Kart.

God loves people. Sharing your life with people is a loving thing, even if over a game. It should be the same with us at all times, but Autumn most acutely reminds me of how wonderful it is to invest in people. And wasn’t that what it was about all of those years ago?

While many will think of the season in terms of retail sales, it’s more about letting go of the excess, making room for God’s love for relationships. It’s about dropping dead weight and knowing that it will give way to life — to what you have need of. So I see this time as good ground not to increase what I play, but refresh how and why I play.

In the end, relationships will always be most important. We always want to share what we enjoy! I believe button mashing was meant for that. I wish I would have realized that sooner, but I thank God I do now. Let all that you do serve to bless your relationship with God and people.

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