Ends and Beginnings

First, an apology that I haven’t been blogging as actively lately. I have been taking an extremely heavy course load this quarter, gaining additional responsibilities to my residential community and at work, and coordinating three different project teams at once. That said, my blog is important to me, and I hope to be quite a bit more active over the coming months. All that business, though, has given me food for thought.

This Monday, my group for Game Development Studio demonstrated our game to anyone who wanted to wander through and play it. That turned out to be quite a few people, and while the game isn’t ready for production by any means, it gave me a tremendous feeling of pride to see people enjoying it. That, after all, is the purpose of a game, and the fact that we brought fun and excitement into people’s lives for even the brief amount of time that they spent at our booth brings a smile to my face. It’s the natural reward for a job well done.

Of course, I can’t take all the credit. Carrying as many projects as I am this quarter, many times it has had to be each of those teams that carries me. Even now that things are starting to wind down, other things are starting to crop up, and so the cycle continues. I would most certainly lose track of all the things I’ve pledged to do if I didn’t keep track of them digitally, and even then it’s no sure game. Just like juggling or kiting, you have to stay constantly on your toes to make sure you’re not about to be blindside from another direction, and all while keeping your attention on what is at the best of times a thoroughly delicate task.

Even in these stressful moments, though, we find hope and a sense of God’s purpose. As I have been slammed with work, I have had little time for gaming, but during one week I had that was slightly more free, I had the notable experience of bumping into three old and very connected friends. Each of the three was involved in my Intervarsity small group during my freshman year, and each has since graduated and moved on either to graduate school or full-time employment. I don’t keep in regular touch with any of the three, so bumping into all three online in the span of a single week was an immediate flag that divine plans might be coming into place.

My one friend, I met playing Overwatch during our first MDS gaming outreach night. That’s right – they’re official now, and we call them Quest Nights. He had recently started playing Overwatch and sent me a friend request out of the blue, without my even knowing he played. The second friend, I came into contact with on Facebook the following Monday, and the third I ran into completely unexpectedly on a Ministry in Digital Spaces training call, without any knowledge that he had been involved with MDS for several months now under a username I didn’t recognize. Amazingly, these three people had been brought briefly back into my life – relationships that I thought had effectively ended – and made their guest appearances in what had previously appeared to be a sequel with an entirely new cast.

The experience got me thinking – first about what God might be trying to tell me and second about the ways in which technology enables him to work. Compared to fifty years ago, bringing people back into my life is far easier for God to accomplish with modern technology. Digital spaces have become meeting grounds for people who are geographically distant, and so each of us can go on living our lives, never knowing when an old friend or an acquaintance may reappear and once again become part of our story. To me, that speaks volumes about the power of technology for God’s plan. Like characters making reappearances in sequels to a game, the characters we’ve come to know and love in real life – the people that we have relationship with – can reappear and pick up where things left off. If that’s not powerful, I don’t know what is.

So here’s a question for you: who do you need to reach out to? Is there someone in your life who you’ve forgotten about since they moved away? An old friend who you thought of just the other day but never actually got around to messaging? Do it now, before you forget. And if someone messages you out of the blue, keep an open mind. It just may be God trying to tell you something.

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