In my opinion, a key element of a good open-world video game (whether MMO or RPG) is that there should be a lot to do. I understand that there is typically a series of storyline missions, but I look for there to be all kinds of other side quests and interesting things to do. In fact, I want to be absolutely tripping over chances to explore, fight, solve a puzzle, or harvest rare components.
However, with great opportunities come the potential for getting off-track. I’ve sometimes found myself with my log book too full of active quests to take on a new one, or discovering that by the time I completed a quest, the reward was too far below my character’s level to be useful. On the other hand, trying to get from point A to point B (usually on a lame fetch quest) gets less fun if random encounters along the way prevent you from completing the quest and moving on to something better.
My family finds this sometimes as we take turns playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. With the goal of getting to a new region, a way point, or a mission, many peripheral distractions – the sparkle of a pick-up, the growl of a hostile creature, or the appearance of a new NPC – compete for our focus on any one goal.
We can be pulled away from other goals, as well:
- A new endeavor – which we believe to be commissioned by God – may not take off at first, and it seems easier to let it go and move onto something else, rather than seeing it through. Abraham was promised to be the father of a great nation (Genesis 22:15-18), but died with only two sons (who each became the ancestor of a major people group…just not right away).
- Spreading ourselves too thin – by signing up for every chance to serve or help others – can cause us to miss out on fulfilling the specific role that God made each of us for. It’s ok to help, but the Body of Christ is made up of all different kinds of members, each with their own method of serving the kingdom.
- Taking our eye off of the ball can cause us to be consumed with what we are doing, rather than why we are doing it. Serving others, or working in an exciting ministry, can be fun (really!) to the point where we forget that we are serving in Jesus’ name, and start to think that we’re serving others for our own credit.
Just as my family members may chide the current Legend of Zelda player when he or she gets distracted from a stated goal, we have others watching us and – through their legacy – reminding us to remain focused on what is most important.
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1-2 NASB
As a result, let us stay on track. I can’t tell you whether God is calling you to a big quest that will take years to develop, or if He is calling you to help in an opportunity that just popped up (which, of course, He knew would happen all along). Listen to Him, and focus on finding and filling the purpose that He made you for.
What I do know, though, is that the most important “quest” or “mission” in our lives is whether or not we follow Jesus. Like a faction affiliation, we won’t be granted access to the ultimate endgame if we are on the wrong side. If you’re reading this, it’s not too late to enlist with Jesus.
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Matthew 7:13-14 NASB
May you select the best quests, so that all of them are successful. When you choose the right mission, the rewards are both earthly and eternal.
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Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Copyright by The Lockman Foundation.