I have a confession that I must make. . . . For the last week and a half, I have been guilty of playing way too much Pokémon Go. (I’m just as guilty of playing unhealthy amounts of Pokémon, as I was during both grade school and high school, when I spent late nights smashing buttons on my Gameboy and DS.) I mean . . . I’ve walked into puddles, and almost on many occasions into people and a wall while trying to catch Scythers and Tauroses on the Harding campus, because my eyes were distracted. (One reason why I don’t text and drive, or play Pokémon and drive). Three weeks before I had been too busy to worry about hatching eggs or trying to collect all the Pocket Monsters, but with a little more free time, I’ve allowed a lot of it to be eaten up trying to be the very best.
But yesterday, there was a moment when I walking in-between buildings, and surprisingly, I didn’t have my nose in my phone, when I noticed a butterfly. Not a Butterfree, a butterfly. Even cooler, when I walked beside this insect, it didn’t just instantly fly away like many do, but allowed me to draw quite close.
So I whipped out my phone to get a pic of this beauty. The first though didn’t turn out the best. So I took another . . . then another. The butterfly opened and closed her wings and flapped around as she modeled for a free photo shoot. But after a dozen or so shots, she decided she had had enough, and flew away to do the butterfly things which butterflies normally do. The photo below is the best from that shoot, with the others deleted and gone:
My point is this, if my face had been in my phone, I would have missed seeing this beautiful creation. No, there’s nothing sinful about Pokémon Go, but like so many other things, it’s easy to get so wrapped up in it, we miss seeing the beauty of God’s creation which is around us. Miss opportunities we have to cater to other people who we could notice, who need a smile or word of encouragement.
Yes, this game has sparked communities and a fun way to exercise, like I said there’s nothing wrong with it. But like any tool, we should use it wisely. See it as a fun game, but not let it dominate our time (or cause us to walk off a cliff from lack of awareness). It can be easy to spend our lives in isolation, looking at a screen or even in our own heads, instead of engaging with the world around us.
Therefore, I have five challenges for us to strive for:
1. To be more aware.
2. To use our time most wisely.
3. To enjoy our Lord’s creation.
4. To keep our eyes open for those around us.
5. And to enjoy the little things.
Maybe an hour or two of Pokémon Go wouldn’t hurt. But then after, let us go. To be people with eyes that are open. To go, just as Jesus commands of us in Matthew 28:19-20: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”