On God and Tetris: Responsible Choices

Rachelle Smalldon

YA Commentary on our Enduring Principles

  Lately a group of young adults in the Australia church and I have been playing Tetris. For me, Tetris a stress-reliever and good thinking time when I get in the “zone”. Yes, I’m a nerd.    If you’ve never played Tetris, here’s what happens. You’re given a rectangular playing space. As the game starts, blocks of different shapes and sizes drop down the screen. Your objective is to spin and place the blocks strategically to create lines of blocks within the rectangle leaving no blank spaces. If you fill a line, it disappears. If you don’t fill the lines, the blocks pile up. There is one long, skinny block that occasionally appears. If you plan out your blocks well, you can get rid of numerous lines at the same time using this long piece and you get more points.When you get rid of 4 lines at a time, it’s called a “Tetris”. The goal is to not let your blocks pile up, get rid of as many lines as you can, and score the most points. Many people relate packing a car to a life-size Tetris game – trying to fit in the different sized boxes and suitcases strategically into a fixed space. I think our daily lives are kind of like a life-size Tetris game too. We are given a certain amount of hours that we must fit all the elements of our life (the blocks, if you will) into. Somehow we must complete enough hours at work, cook healthy meals, spend time with family, catch up with friends, attend church and other activities, grasp even a moment of personal time, God time, exercise, sleep, study… need I go on? So, we all have these different blocks of our life we need to fit into each week. I don’t know about you, but I definitely don’t fit all those blocks into each of my weeks – often I neglect cooking, or talking to my family, or sleep. Sometimes I don’t fit certain blocks in because I choose one thing over another – seeing a movie over exercise. Really, it comes down to choices.

Truthfully, the one I neglect the most is spending time with God. It’s so easy for me to fill my days with other “stuff” rather than taking time out for God. I mean, God is already with us during every part of our life, right? So why is it important to take time out of my already busy day to be specifically with God?

I always hear people say how much they enjoy getting away from the “real world” to go to camp and be rejuvenated. At camp we schedule in worship, devotions and fellowshipping with each other and with God. We have beautiful nature around us, which somehow makes it easier to find sanctuary and feel God in the wind and the trees. Our time with God at camp is intentional, enjoyable and, I think, a big part of why we can come back to our busy lives feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the various aspects of our lives again. It’s like we have had all these boxes building up in our lives, taking up our time, and causing us to be tired and stressed.

Time with God is just like that long, skinny block that, when we choose to make space for it, comes in and clears away the build-up and lets us start again, with a clear sense of energy and rejuvenation. Tetris! We make a choice to go somewhere where we actually take time for God, we experience connection with God and with our community and everything else just seems to disappear. We choose to hand over our weighted burdens for cherished moments of peace and sanctuary. Our connection with God helps us complete the puzzle and relieves our stresses.

Now, if only we could make these same choices, and find this same connection with God and the subsequent stress relief, in our “real world” lives. Here’s our challenge: Find a way to fit all the elements of your life in that constricted space of time you have. Choose to strategically place your blocks in such a way, that you leave an intentional space for God each day or even each week. I pray you find the “piece” needed to relieve stress in your busy lives and enjoy the benefits that come with intentional time with God.

Enduring Principle: Responsible Choices

– God gives humans the ability to make choices about whom or what they will serve. Some people experience conditions that diminish their ability to make choices.
– Human choices contribute to good or evil in our lives and in the world.
– Many aspects of creation need redemption because of irresponsible and sinful human choices.
– We are called to make responsible choices within the circumstances of our lives that contribute to the purposes of God.

Read the “We Share Document” with our 9 Enduring Principles.

Rachelle Smalldon is from Alberta, Canada. Find her on Facebook.

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