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  • Writer's pictureMark

Dungeons and Dragons

When I was in college I started playing AD&D. At first I wasn’t very good. The game was (probably still is) very complex. The way the rules fit together didn’t seem to make sense.

For instance, in my first game I played a gnome illusionist. That I had to roll a 17 or higher to hit that monster with my staff didn’t seem fair, because the paladin only needed a 12. I told the dungeon master I wanted my illusionist to practice harder so he could get better. Anyone who has played the game understands initial frustration, and knows how silly I was being.

Eventually I got better and better and started running my own game. Even after I was married I used to spend all my free time during a week to prepare for that Saturday game. I wanted things to run as seamlessly as possible so the players would have the best experience I could give them.

I loved that game. I’d study the rules and work hard to maximize my characters (as a player) and know the ins and outs of the adventure (when I was dungeon master) so I could cope with any decision my players made.

Reading the Bible is kind of like that.

I love God, so I want to know as much about Him as I can, and the most reliable source is the Bible. Does it matter if some parts are a dry repetition of something that makes no difference? No. The words are about God and what He’s done so it matters. Does it matter that there’s no lesson for me to learn there? No. It helps me know God.

Let’s look at it like this: if I offered to give you a thousand dollars to have lunch with me, would you accept? “I’m buying, plus I’ll give you a thousand dollars.” Not many people would turn that down.

How about for a hundred dollars? Maybe you’d still accept if I offered to pay the bill, but there was no extra cash involved. But would you have lunch with me if I insisted you pay? No thousand dollars, not even a hundred, and you’re stuck with the bill.

Probably not, unless you loved spending time with me. Then extend that to you paying me a thousand dollars to have lunch with you, and you’re buying. Make it every day. How about every meal? And spending the whole day with me? THAT is love.

I read the Bible every day because I love God. In Hosea God rips into the Northern Kingdom for seeking help from foreign countries. That indicates they didn’t trust God when He said He’d protect His people. Does that have a lesson for me to learn? Maybe. But primarily it’s learning about God, and what He likes - what He loves.

Like I studied the Dungeon Master’s Guide all those years ago, I study the Bible. God made everything, even the rules - from the quantum fields to the filaments of super-clusters of galaxies.

God is worthy of study. His rules seem to interact in strange ways to us humans. His perspective is different. Learning about Him takes lifetimes.

Once this adventure is over, there’s another on the other side. Unlike D&D, it won’t be over on a single Saturday afternoon.

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