Day 14: The Gospel According to the Mario Bros.
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” —Matthew 6:25-34 (ESV)
In 1987, I got a Nintendo Entertainment System for Christmas. Along with the console came a game titled Super Mario Bros. The object of the game was to navigate through various levels and their obstacles in order to ultimately save the princess who is being held captive on the final level. In November 11, 2009, Super Mario Bros. was re-released on the Nintendo Wii console, and it had all of the components of the original with one enhancement. In this new version, you are able to store special resources that allow you to pass through the levels more easily.
I must admit that my daughter and I love playing Super Mario Bros. It gives me flashbacks of when I was her age, and she relishes in the comfort and company of her daddy. While playing some time ago, my daughter insisted that we use one of stored special resources at the beginning of each new level. I suggested otherwise, explaining to her that at the beginning of each level there is always a resource to help us get through.
“No matter how high the levels get, the game will provide you something to start the level without a disadvantage.” It is my belief that Super Mario Bros. is not the only thing that demonstrates this provision principle. If you were to look back over your life, you will realize that God has also been strategically placing provision at the beginning of every new season. As you embrace a new year, a new presidency and a new semester, it is my prayer that we will trust God to provide as we go to the next level.
Seasons come and seasons go. If you don’t believe me, just keep living. Super Mario Bros. teaches that as long as you have time left, you are going to have a change in your season or level. The length of your season may vary, and they will change and become more difficult. However, Jesus reminds us that we cannot so overwhelm ourselves with what is to come that we ignore or miss out on the life that is set directly before us.
Worrying about what tomorrow holds causes us to diminish the blessings of today.
Super Mario Bros. also illustrates that God cares about you. The game developers ultimately want Mario to get to the next level, so they provide a resource at the beginning of each level that will help Mario make it through. That’s good news, because God, being the developer and architect of your life, wants you to prosper as well. As His prize creation, you are much more cared for than the birds and the lilies.
Finally, Super Mario Bros. illustrates the importance of continuing to seek the kingdom. The goal at the start of each level is to make it to the castle at the end. Your job is to keep seeking the Kingdom of God. The enemy wants you to give up and believe that you don’t have what it takes to get to the next level. But remember the old church saying: “If God brought you to it, He’ll surely bring you through it.”
So don’t worry about the next season. Whether it’s today or next year, trust God to provide.
Written by Michael Moody, Christian Ministry Major (CGPS)