Ever play Tetris Battle? It’s an internet game one of my kids introduced me to. I love it!
Wikipedia tells me that Tetris Battle ranks in the top 10 games of daily active users on Facebook. As of February 2012, Tetris Battle had a daily user base of more than 3.7 million and a monthly user base of more than 13 million. Now that’s a popular game!
For those of you who’ve never played it, this is how Tetris Battle works: geometric shaped game pieces fall down the vertical playboard. The objective of the game is to quickly manipulate (by moving and/or rotating) these various tiles with the aim of making a horizontal line of blocks without gaps. Once such a line is completed it disappears, and any block above the deleted line will fall. There are various ways to earn extra points in the race to delete more lines of tiles than your opponent in a given amount of time. It’s fun, intense and can be quite an adrenaline filled puzzle.
I suppose the thing that intrigues me most about this game is the challenge. I love the satisfaction of seeing the pieces come together quickly and easily. Sometimes it works out well; but other times it doesn’t. When things get moving too fast, I get flustered, I make mistakes that mess up the whole board. Having to make hasty decisions can result in one misplaced tile that negatively affects where other pieces can then be placed. Once a move is made it cannot be taken back. The only thing to do is keep playing with the hope that the situation can be redeemed, at least to some extent, with future moves.
The game of Tetris Battle provides me with an interesting picture of what I often experience in life. Every day life deals me assorted pieces that need to be put together. Decisions must be made, events happen, schedules need to be juggled, people want my attention. Sometimes at end of day I am satisfied that I’ve done my best, things have played out well, and I’m content. The pieces have lined up and fit together nicely. Other times I finish the day with frustration knowing that I flubbed it; I feel defeated and like I’ve failed at so much. My day looks like a jumbled disjointed mess of imperfection.
When I play Tetris, I win some and I lose some. It’s a game – an amusement – it has no eternal significance. My life, on the other hand is a different story. There is a purpose in the present, and also beyond – it is so much more than something that is here today and gone tomorrow. How I live my life matters very much. I am responsible to make good choices, to love others and to honor God. But while I do make important choices every day that affect not only me but those around me I know that I am not ultimately in control of the outcome.
David declares in Psalm 16:6, “The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places…” I’m pretty sure he wasn’t referring to the lines of tiles in a Tetris game! He was talking about his life in the Lord God. Even though my life may not always play out in a neat and tidy way, I too can say with assurance: “O Lord, You maintain my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; Yes, I have a good inheritance.”
You see, in the end, no matter how the pieces of my life fall together, I know there’s someone with a more comprehensive perspective, somebody bigger than me in charge of how it all turns out. As a Christ-follower I also have the assurance that if I make a mistake – even a costly one – it will somehow be redeemed. I know from personal experience, and from the reliable testimony of countless others, that “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose”. (Romans 8:28). He is a God of grace and love, whose mercy endures forever.
So I try to live my life in the spirit in which I play Tetris Battle — it’s fun, intense and quite an adrenaline filled puzzle. And ultimately, because I serve a big and wise God, I always come out a winner.