Crushing My Addiction

I have a confession to make. I have a serious addiction to a silly game.
I wish I could say my addiction was to crossword puzzles or Sudoku because at least those suggest intelligence. No, my addiction is to a game on my iPad that a child could play.
I’m addicted to Candy Crush.
If you don’t know what that is, consider yourself lucky. Released in April 2012, its ability to lure unsuspecting victims and then hold them in a death grip, has been documented by the media.
I’m embarrassed to admit how much I play but here goes: most mornings with my cup of coffee, sometimes when I come home from work, and then before I go to bed. Each time I play, it’s for 10-40 minutes. This has been going on for three years.
That adds up to a lot of time. I won’t do the math because then I’ll be sick.
I will say that I play without spending much time on strategy, therefore there’s not a whole lot of thinking involved. This means I can be mentally somewhere else while I’m playing.
But I’m not. My mind is pretty blank which results in downtime for my brain. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially for me.
I will also add that I don’t spend any money on this game, and when my 5 “lives” are done, I go about my own life. I can go a few days without playing and not feel any distress. I’d like to think I can stop whenever I want. But I don’t want to. And here’s why.
My addiction has become a quest.
I am determined to reach the end of this game. I was getting close, only to find the developers added more levels. Totally not fair but ok, they threw down the gauntlet and now I’m more committed than ever.
According to Merriam Webster, the definition of quest includes “a journey made in search of something” or “a long or difficult effort to find or do something”.
Quests have held the fascination of readers for generations. From Homer to Harry Potter, writers have found quests to be a compelling plot device and theme to keep readers turning the page.
In films, Dorothy, Luke Skywalker and Indiana Jones have gone on quests that kept us riveted to our seats.
We could even argue Jesus was on a quest to fulfill scripture and his Father’s will.
I’ve been on other quests in my lifetime. They included completion of my Master’s Degree, earning a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and finding a new house and community to move into. Some quests took years, some months, but the completion of one always brought a sense of accomplishment and a bit of relief. Because once you’ve committed to a quest, it’s hard to accept failure.
I’m currently involved in other quests as well. I’m determined to read 52 books in a year at some point in my life. This has been a ten-year quest that I’ve not yet achieved. I’ve come close though (and am well aware that playing Candy Crush is a competing quest since there are only so many hours in a day!).
I’m on a quest to have a children’s book published. This has been a twenty-five year quest, although I’ve set it aside, sometimes for years at a time, out of frustration and hopelessness. But the desire to complete this quest resurfaces and I chase the dream again.
Quests can help you feel alive, and give you a reason to get out of bed each morning with energy and enthusiasm. They can give you direction and create opportunities to experience life in new ways. This is the beauty of quests.
But there is a distinct danger as well.
They can also confuse our thinking about who we are. It’s easy to forget that we are not what we do. What we accomplish does not define us. All our diplomas, certificates, awards, credentials and bragging rights about this or that are meaningless in the end. When on a quest though, it’s so easy to forget that truth.
It’s especially easy to confuse our identity if the quest took much effort or a long time to complete. If I miraculously got a phone call tomorrow with a promise of publication for one of my picture book manuscripts, I’d definitely declare myself a children’s book author and might even introduce myself that way from that point on!
But that’s not who I am.
First and foremost, I’m the daughter of the King. Anything I’ve accomplished is because He blessed me with certain gifts that made it possible to achieve particular goals.
He also blessed me with opportunities such as being a wife and mother. These are privileges. I didn’t earn them and they are not my accomplishments, although I can and sometimes do feel some satisfaction in how I carry out the responsibilities that come with these privileges.
With our identity firmly rooted in Christ, we find ourselves on the ultimate quest; to grow closer to God by walking with Him through life, ever grateful for His mercy and forgiveness. Our quest is to become more Christ-like, accepting and working through the struggles that refine our character, knowing that we can never reach perfection, but can bring glory and honor to God by trying.
Candy Crush is an incredibly silly quest in comparison.
(By the way, if you want to follow me on this quest, I chronicle my progress at the bottom of my About Me page where I update my level weekly.)
Scripture for Reflection:
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith,
Galatians 3:26
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
John 1:12-14
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
Hebrews 12:1

Are you on a quest of some kind? Please share in the comments section!

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