I have been looking forward to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim since last December when I saw the first trailer for the game. I poured 150 hours into its predecessor, Oblivion, and was really excited to get back into the world of Tamriel. The game released last Friday and I spent a good portion of Friday and Saturday playing.
I love it. I probably love it too much.
The problem with a game like Skyrim is that there is always something more to do. There’s always one more quest to complete, one more town to visit or one more dungeon to crawl. If I didn’t need to sleep, work or see the sun, I could probably play Skyrim for 24 hours straight and not even be 20% of the way through the game. If I did that, though, I would probably be 100% of the way through my marriage. I would also be one day short of my six week goal of reading the Bible every day.
That’s the biggest problem with a game like Skyrim or any other nerdclination that becomes an obsession. There are parts of our daily lives that must be addressed: school, work, sleep, ministry, family, relationships and friends. Whether we like it or not, some amount of energy needs to be directed at those throughout our day. How we spend the remaining hours, though, says a lot about us and our priorities.
Obviously our lives with God should be the number one priority in our lives, but often they become an extracurricular activity. And sometimes they become an extra-extracurricular activity and we never get to them.
I don’t think our lives with God can be limited to 15 or 20 minutes spent with him. Abandoning that time, though, to complete one more quest or find one more village really does say something about my priorities. A 15 minute quiet time isn’t magical but neither is playing a video game, checking Facebook or sleeping in.
My pastor used the image of a bike wheel to better understand our priorities. Making God our number one priority isn’t about placing him at the top of our to-do list; God isn’t just something we check off so we can move onto the next task. God should be the center of our lives, like on a bike wheel, and everything else is just a spoke that revolves around him. If we know God is at the center of our lives and we’re actively keeping him there, then we can work, play and relate with confidence.
Working, playing and relating instead of burying our noses in the Bible doesn’t mean we have abandoned God, as long as God is influencing how we work, play and relate.
So kill a dragon, take an extra shift at work or have a nice dinner with friends. If those aren’t removing God from the center of our lives, then they’re just some more spokes to enjoy in the ride of life.
How do you keep God as the priority and center of your life?