Halo 4 comes out in 18 days and in anticipation I’ve been playing through Halo:Anniversary on Legendary. I’ve never beaten any Halo game on legendary and as such, now seemed like the ideal time to gear up for Halo 4’s release and fill a gaping hole in my gaming resume. It’s been fun but it’s also frickin hard! I constantly find myself with one bar of life while covenant forces are swarming in on all sides, grenades are going off, marines are dying and all hell is raining down upon poor ol’ Master Chief. It’s exactly in these moments that I normally do something stupid like charge an Elite and try to pistol whip him which most always ends in my demise. But lately, I’ve been trying to pace myself more: right as everything goes to crap I pause the game and give myself a moment to breath. It’s amazing how with the push of a button I am instantly transported out of the world of Halo and back into reality. I realize that the controller throwing, heart racing stress of the game is only as real to me as I allow it to be and in this moment of reprise I’m able to reorient myself for the task at hand and create a plan to topple my enemies. And the more I’ve been thinking about it, I’ve come to realize that life is really similar to this.
So often I let the day to day concerns throw me into a panic: What assignments do I still have for school? How are we gonna pay to get the car fixed? What if these medications don’t work? What if I don’t find a job in time? Granted some of these worries are reasonable to be concerned over but I can never address them if I let my anxiety take over. In that case I become just like my hasty Master Chief: rushing into battle with one health bar and no hope of survival.
But then I remember that I can pause real life to a degree too. Psalm 130 says:
Help, God—the bottom has fallen out of my life!
Master, hear my cry for help!
Listen hard! Open your ears!
Listen to my cries for mercy.
3-4 If you, God, kept records on wrongdoings,
who would stand a chance?
As it turns out, forgiveness is your habit,
and that’s why you’re worshiped.
5-6 I pray to God—my life a prayer—
and wait for what he’ll say and do.
My life’s on the line before God, my Lord,
waiting and watching till morning,
waiting and watching till morning.
7-8 O Israel, wait and watch for God—
with God’s arrival comes love,
with God’s arrival comes generous redemption.
No doubt about it—he’ll redeem Israel,
buy back Israel from captivity to sin.
And that’s exactly what I want to start trying to do. Instead of always trying to rashly address things myself, I want to start living more like my life is a prayer, one where I wait and watch for the Lord. Often times it feels like my life is on the line, just like Master Chief or the Psalmist, but I know that if I just pause then I can reorient myself to the knowledge that God will come to me with the plans of love and generous redemption. With this plan I can unpause and face any challenge that comes my way, be it the obstacles of life or a covenant swarm.