In video games, a “Tower Defense” game is one where fortifications (i.e., “towers”) are placed along a set path. In each round, waves of opponents (whether little aliens, zombies, or even attacking balloons) march along these pre-defined paths, where the player’s defenses must defeat them before any enemy reaches the finish line.
In these games, towers usually have a cost. For those building actual towers (i.e., in real life), the Bible offers this advice, but that’s not the main point of this article.
For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?
Luke 14:28 NASB
Sometimes, though, our day may seem like we’re not the one building towers, but instead we’re walking as part of the incoming waves, dodging attacks from towers along our path. We drive or ride to and from our appointments (school, work, personal, or otherwise) on pre-defined paths, and encounter all sorts of dangers. We engage with the certain people on a regular basis, whether they are fellow students / employees, or customers, or those who provide a service to us (from the delivery person, to the barista, to the person we’re entrusting our children to).
We may feel that we’re on a set path, and while we may look forward to some encounters, there are others that we’d rather avoid. The other drivers on the road may feel like opponents trying to push us out of our path. The people we encounter may help us along our path, or they may be trying to muscle in on our place in line.
So, in return, we throw up defenses of our own:
- We may put on a facade and try to look good to fit in, or act a certain way, so as to not to make waves. In a tower defense game, this would be like stealthed mobs, who can go undetected by others’ defenses until spotted.
- We may hide in a group, and insulate ourselves from others. While community is a good thing, a closed circle of gossip doesn’t benefit anyone. Opponents in a tower defense game may use the same strategy, surging in a zerg rush.
- We may race through life, keeping so busy that we don’t have to interact with anyone else. This wasn’t how we were designed, though – each of us has a need for relationships. Tower-defense players know to watch out for high-speed opponents, who race through the course until slowed down or defeated.
Let me suggest a different kind of recourse in this situation, though, from the book of Proverbs:
The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
The righteous runs into it and is safe.
Proverbs 18:10 NASB
In God, we no longer have to fear attacks from outside. As he leads us on the straight and narrow path (see Matthew 7:13-14), we can overcome evil around us.
Jesus taught his disciples to pray for deliverance from evil (Matthew 6:13). In my prayers for others to be delivered from evil, I sometimes break this up into two parts:
- To be delivered from sin (that is, to live a righteous life), and,
- To be delivered from harm (that is, the consequences of evil, whether from ourselves or from others).
God may still allow us to go through trials and to be tested, but He promises that we will succeed in the end.
For more confirmation of this, read through the second and third chapters of Revelation. However, let me include another statement from the same author as Revelation, the apostle John:
For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world-our faith.
Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
1 John 5:3-5 NASB
Whatever the perils along your path, today, may you run to the tower of God’s defense, and escape harm from the enemy.