Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Life in the Mushroom Kingdom

You must be Mario, cause you just got 1up'd. It is a cute phrase which refers back to the Super Mario Bros. video game franchise and the times in which you're character would get an extra life. But that's the ultimate goal of life, right? To assert your opinions/views/achievements as better than someone else's and to essentially one-up them.

Life is a competition-you either win or lose, there are no ties. How does one win this game, you ask? Why, by belittling others and positioning yourself at the forefront- "unless you're the lead dog, the view never changes." In order to validate ourselves, we need to push others underneath us(perhaps even 'under the bus') and use them as stepping stones to prominence.

Well, I wish it didn't have to be like that. I am kind of a polar opposite when it comes to competitive spirit-at some times, I am competitive beyond reason and at other points I couldn't care less whether I win or lose. "But competition is good, it helps us separate the wheat from the chaff."-Really? I guess that's true, especially if you view people as chaff. If you view certain people as less important, than it is only natural that you would want them to be tossed aside.

This is a prevalent factor in church. Different denominations who don't get along; churches of the same denomination who argue and bicker because one uses NIV while the other uses NASB. Congregations fighting over 'new recruits' in order to insure that there sanctuary is more full than the church next door.

It's also in our daily lives. Friends tearing down another in order to demonstrate their excellence in that particular facet of life. Classmates ragging on you because you scored lower than they did on a test. Parents constantly comparing their children to one another and to themselves. Coworkers flaunting their achievements in front of your boss and painstakingly detailing your own shortcomings.

Does any of this sound familiar? If not, count yourself blessed. If yes, count yourself blessed. Blessed that you have endured and come through that time with who you are still intact. If you are currently in that time and the darkness seems too great; please don't give up-I know it sucks and it hurts. I know that everyday you feel beaten and bruised-like your next step could be your last. It isn't fair. I know. I'm sorry. Really all I can say to you is to echo what Chris Rice wrote in one of his songs:
"Sometimes the way is lonely and steep and filled with pain; so if your sky is dark and pours the rain-then cry to Jesus, cry to Jesus, cry to Jesus and live."

You're right, I must be Mario. But, honestly, I'm ok with that. For now.

Psalm 43:5 -"Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God."

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