Thursday, March 13, 2014

Playing COD = Conversation about God?!?!?

I am an avid gamer.  Some of you know that some of you don't.  In fact it was some of my youth that first introduced me to online video games.  I love to play.  I especially love to play Call of Duty.  I enjoy all the aspects of the game but I really enjoy the online multiplayer part of it. 

The only problem that I have with the online part of the game is the fact that anyone with a microphone can say anything they want to.  They can use fowl language, pick on each other, or just sing into the microphone. I can deal with it because I can mute it and I'm an adult but when you are online and someone has bought Call of Duty for their 10 year and they are cursing into the microphone, it just doesn't feel right.

You can't imagine how many times I have heard little kids cursing and talking about people's mothers, sex, and using the N word.  It is horrible.  I usually mute other players unless I know them.

Recently I have become friends with 2 other gamers.  They are both in college and I enjoy playing with them because we play as a team and they don't curse every other word.  We often play for hours on end and have great conversations about life and what's going on with each other.

The other day I was talking with one of them and he said to me,

"Hokie (Hokie708 is my screen name) what do you do for a living?"

I was a little scared about this question at first because not that I didn't want to admit that I worked for a church and with youth, but I didn't want to scary him away because he didn't really know me and we were just having a good time while playing a video game.  Ultimately I decided that I was going to be truthful and let the cards fall were they may.  I said;

"Cuddie (Cuddiesforreal is his screen name).  I work for a United Methodist Church in Raleigh NC, and I am the Director of Youth Ministries."

"Really? said Cuddy, "And you play video games?"

"Yes I do!" I said, "And I really enjoy playing games, in fact I actually have had some great conversations with my youth while playing video games.  They have a tendency to get so involved in the game that they are very relaxed when I talk to them about other things going on in their lives that they don't seem to care how much they share.  I guess in a way it is a great way for me to minister to my youth."

"That's pretty cool. I went to youth group when I was in High School and I really enjoyed it.  I loved my youth pastor and am really thankful for the advice he gave me over the years.  I miss it."

"Have you been to church lately?" I asked.

"No, you know the college thing, but maybe I should go.  Do you think God is mad at me for not going?"

"No, I don't think God is mad at you, I just know that he wants to be in relationship with you and if we step away from church for too long it makes it harder for us to come back.  You should go or maybe there is a bible study or Christian group on campus that you can get involved with." I said.

"That's a good point.  I am going to have to think about that.  You know that I am going into the Army after college right?"

"Yep, you mentioned that." I said.

"I am excited but a little scared at the same time."

" I am sure that it is scary.  I tell you what, why don't we take a break from playing for a minute and let's pray about it." I said.

"That sounds good, let's do that."

So we spent the next few minutes in prayer together.  I prayed for him and then he prayed.  Who would of known that in the virtual world of video games, God was right there with us.  We met because of playing a video game online and now we have a connection that is greater than playing video games together.  Thank you God for being there and thank you for allowing me to share with someone I don't really even know!  I hope we continue to be in contact for a long time!

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