Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
1 Corinthians 9:24 (King James Version)
My wife and son were playing “Battleship” (the old school version). However, I noticed when my son appeared to be losing, he wanted to start over despite being deep into the game. I had to explain to my son that not all games can be restarted; that the game must be played to the end even if one loses.
As I walked away, I realized that many of us have become a “reset” generation at first; however I expanded my description to tonight’s title: we’re a manipulation generation. We have devices we can hit the restart button on when a glitch occurs and reboot them. If we don’t like how our favorite video game is turning out for us (we’re losing), we hit the restart button for a whole new game. If my device is really not acting right, I can hit the reset button and start afresh…even up to a factory reset that takes my device to when I first bought it.
I can delete photographs from my digital camera if I don’t like them. We can delete a project off our computer if something’s wrong and start again; instead of seeing the project to the end. We can record tracks on computer-editing and deleting; or even seamlessly sampling other songs onto ours. We can change colors of things (or make them black and white). We can “Photoshop” everything from models up to news photos. We can manipulate our world to our liking (and another’s disliking).
As a photographer who had to manipulate images himself for artistic effect or aesthetics; and even in writing this blog such actions can be warranted. There are times we have to refresh something, restart something, or delete something. And even some therapies or spiritual practices call on these approaches. Even the one who “reinvents” him/herself. There are other examples as well. However in these instances, these are all done with a specific purpose.
However, if we take this approach to life itself in a willy-nilly manner, the results could be problematic. We’ll stop things before they can be carried out to fruition, wasting time and resources. We’ll find ourselves never truly challenging ourselves in games since we can hit the “restart” button, which can easily carry itself into life. We’ll fall for carefully edited “sound bites” in our news, instead of hearing the whole story. We’ll listen to sampled music that will keep us from appreciating pure talent. In the end, we’ll do such manipulating we’ll alter life into a cheap facsimile of the real thing.
In tonight’s Scripture text, the Apostle Paul was writing to the church at Corinth (today’s Greece). In Paul’s era, the Olympic Games took place; events took place throughout the region in his time. Paul used the analogy of the races which he might have seen, or heard through local news. Paul reminded the Corinthians that only one person gets the prize, despite competing against many. Paul was teaching perseverance to the folk-to run as so they can obtain the prize (in this case, eternal life with God).
We too must keep perseverance in our lives. We cannot afford to manipulate life and think it would be for the better. Especially in a transitory world like ours, we need to keep our footing; and not be the manipulation generation. For ultimately, we could manipulate life out of life itself.
Just my thoughts for now. Goodnight folks.