Have you ever played a flash game on the web? Maybe a Guitar Hero knock-off, or defending a castle, or spotting differences in pictures, or being an assassin? There are thousands of simple (often stupid) games out there. I found an interesting one recently.
The game is called “Don’t Shoot the Puppy.” You might want to give it a try: Play “Don’t Shoot the Puppy.”
Did you try it? (click “Keep reading” below for the rest of this entry)
So are you frustrated with the game, or did you just decide to read the rest of the entry?
Here’s a secret: the only way you can win the game is do nothing after you click start. Any additional click or mouse movement will kill the puppy. As the levels progress scenarios are presented that attempt to entice you to act. A fake pop-up ad appears. A timer begins. The screen goes black. The puppy falls asleep. A nail appears to be blocking the puppy and a hammer appears. The puppy stops walking. And more . . . there are fifteen levels.
When I found this game I killed the puppy. Many times. I thought it was a gimmick; I thought the puppy was doomed to die no matter what I did. Then I read about the game. Once I learned that the key was to do nothing I sat back, relaxed and won the game. And then I thought about it.
Isn’t it funny that doing nothing can be so difficult?
It might sound really stupid, but I think this flash game reminded me of something. It made me think about God’s grace and the gift of salvation. I’m not saying the game is a metaphor or an analogy for this. What I am saying is that it made me think about the futility of my efforts.
You see, the puppy is completely safe if I do nothing. I just click start and stay out of the way. But I feel like I need to do something. I feel like the puppy is relying on me. But a programmer already destined the puppy for safety. There is nothing I can do to protect the puppy from the gun.
Christ’s death and resurrection is what saves me. I accept that gift, or click start if you will, and trust in the blood of Jesus and the grace of God. I’m not supposed to be passive about my life, just aware that what I do is not what is earning my safety.
So as I go to church and do the things people call good deeds, it’s not with the intention of protecting myself. I know I am safe. I do those things because they bring honor and glory to God.
I could go on about the lessons contained in the wonderful flash game that is Don’t Shoot the Puppy, but I’ll stop there. . . but if you ever want to talk about the spiritual undertones in Tetris let me know =)