Growing up I spent many hours in front of the TV or down at the local arcade with my good friend Mario and his brother Luigi. I would play until my hands cramped up and my quarters ran dry. With my oldest in Kindergarden I felt it was time for her to learn to appreciate the fine art of video games. So last night we dusted off the Wii and put in a personal favorite of mine, Mario Kart. This was particularly exciting for her since she got to use the steering wheel and flail around like a fish out of water. After a couple of games she turned to me with a discouraged look and said “I always come in last”.
I told her that she would need to keep practicing if she wanted to get better and that maybe it was time for us to try an easier game. Such is the spiritual life for many of us. This becomes even more complicated when you add in multiple players and prepare for co-op mode. As a parent it’s my job to make sure that the girls are learning the right things at the right time. As with any video game you wouldn’t start off playing a boss level until you got the basics down and worked through the game to power-up. So as in the spiritual life you can’t expect to jump into the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius before you’ve learned your “Our Father” and “Hail Mary”.
With that in mind I put in Wii Sports and bowling was a hit. The controls weren’t to hard but the game itself was challenging enough to keep her interest. The little one even got involved mimicing the moves of her older sister. In the spiritual life this is a best case scenarios. You introduce your children to the lives of the saints and interesting stories from the Bible. You hook them in with fun craft and activities that challenge them to grow in their walk but aren’t too over their heads. Then when their younger siblings or friends see the change in them they’ll want to be just like them, they’ll want to have what they have. This goes for the rest of us too. If we shine the light of Christ into the world people won’t be able to resist, they’ll want to get to know Christ themselves.
Now if you’ll execuse me I’m off to say my night prayers and play some Candy Crush.