Non-Random Encounters

Sometimes, we may feel like we’re living in an open-world JRPG, where random obstacles spring up and draw us (or our party) into a conflict.  Maybe these are urgent pop-up problems at work that pull time away from getting more important things done, or people at school that regularly make trouble.  (Most RPG’s seem to have rats as an early mob.  Hopefully, you don’t encounter rats on a random encounter, but if you do, I hope that you are equipped to handle them and don’t get bit.)

These events – whether in a game, or in real life – can be frustrating.  A well-fitted party (in a game) may find its health and supplies depleted while just trying to get from one town to the next.  In the same way, we can be trying to just make a living and get by, when disruptive events drain our mental and emotional energy, as well as our funds and time.

Still, in life, not everything is based on the random-number generator.  In fact, there is a plan and a purpose behind all of creation, imparted to it by its creator.  But even among the apparent “lucky” or “unlucky” encounters, there are some carefully planned events in history.  God had planned to send His son Jesus, at a point where government, language, infrastructure, and many other factors all worked together to spread His message of good news.  And, Jesus arrived just when we needed help.

As God’s partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it. For God says,

“At just the right time, I heard you.
On the day of salvation, I helped you.”

Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.

2 Corinthians 6:1‭-‬2 NLT

See also 1 Timothy 2:5-6Jeremiah 23:5-6, and Romans 5:6.

There is another event in everyone’s life story that is significant, as well.  Without completing this “mission”, major parts of life will be blocked off from our access.  We can grind levels all day (accumulating money, fame, or power), but if we don’t complete this mission, we can’t get to the endgame.

This mission was given to us by Jesus Christ.  He calls us to follow Him.  This ins’t about just signing up with a “clan” of Christians, or paying a shopkeeper for a key or a ticket to admit us into a certain region.  It’s about learning who Jesus is, aligning ourselves with Him, and choosing to follow His instructions.  We might say that we stop taking on quests from anyone else who is handing them out, and instead start taking missions only from Him.  Random encounters are replaced with custom opportunities, and we find that God doesn’t leave us to the random number generator (nor to other forces that hate us).

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
John 8:12 NLT

See also Luke 9:23-24 (this mission won’t be easy), John 12:26 (it will require aligning with the right leader), and John 10:27-28 (the rewards are epic),

We know that life ends, either way.  The question is whether we make it to the good ending, or end up stuck at a low level, unable to have really progressed.  Spending eternity living with Jesus and others who have accepted His offer will be pretty awesome, but the result isn’t just about the endgame.  Living for Jesus will include some of the most incredible parts of your storyline, yet.  God has a destiny for you that can’t be reached if you don’t complete this mission, but trust me (and all those who have taken it on): the “game” of life gets more exciting after this point!

If you’d like to accept this mission, talk with a trusted pastor or another follower of Jesus.  You can also read up about it at Acts 2:22-41.  Don’t spend the rest of your life wandering around the map, trying to find the one mission-giver that can help you actually level up.


Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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