The Gaming… The Passing!
King Tutankhamun (1334 BC -1325 BC) was buried with no fewer than five game tables. The ancient Egyptians believed that to reach the afterlife, a person who died had to perform certain rituals and pass many obstacles. The game Senet, which means "passing," became associated with the journey to the afterlife. Some of the squares of the game corresponded to the hazards a person might meet on their journey to the afterlife, while other squares helped the players. Because of this connection, Senet was not just a game; it was also a symbol for the struggle to obtain immortality, or endless life.
Our modern man still play games, all sorts of games… and these are still wanted worldwide and not just because of the pursuit of mere “enjoyment of pleasure.” Professor Richard Bartle speaks of four main motivations experienced when playing a game:
• Achievement: Trying to get more points
• Immersion: Imagining oneself in the game “world”
• Competition: Trying to defeat barriers
• Cooperation: Working together as a team
It’s obvious, then, that playing games is a projection of that much “bigger game” in life where winning is the desired target. But a main question persists:
What gain we pursue???
On one wall of an ancient church beside which was erected a huge well- known football stadium, one can read a meaningful extract from the bible: “For what profits a man if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul”. (Matthew 16:26)
So, let us rethink:
How many times our jobs - which are essential and important part of our lives - are taking, at many times, a twist and end up being the “only” altar at which we “pray”???
How much of our time and health we consume to get a wealth, and we pretend to “win” the game of life???
How many times we sing the glory of success in this world while the hymns of the lord are forgotten???
How many times we have marched toward the lure of the world while our path to God, to eternal life is abandoned???
How many times we have preferred the game of “lone wolves” over the sense of community and fellowship to win souls?
Today, while playing our “small games”, may we remember how important to win “the passing” to eternal life…. And while we release our shouts of victory in wining our “small games”, may we never release whining of defeat in losing our heavenly “seat”.