What a wonderful invention – the Wii. It affords you the mindless fun of a video game, the unmerited skill of an athlete, and the favor awarded an Olympian upon successful completion of his appointed task.
We are not video game junkies in the Murie household, but we do occasionally succumb to the lure of competition.
One gray Saturday afternoon I observed a commotion coming from the TV room. I walked in to the pleasant hoots and high-fives of my four children. They were congratulating one another for scoring well in target practice.
I stopped and watched as each child in turn swung the Wii remote like a golf club while aiming for one of two targets on a virtual golf course. After awhile the kids turned and convinced both myself and my husband to compete.
We agreed. I was up first and stepped to the tee, club in hand. My first attempt wasn’t bad. We watched as my ball sailed over the first target and landed on the next garnering 50 points for me!
“Good Job, Mom!” they encouraged.
I patted myself on the back and prepared for my next swing. This time the ball flew over both targets – a miss.
“That’s okay Mom, try it again,” sang a chorus of little angels.
I did and struck gold with a perfect swing and a bull’s-eye worth 100 points. The crowd went wild! You would have thought I had won the Nobel Prize – so undeserving, so unexpected. There was jumping, there were high-fives, and there were shrieks of joy! “I could get used to this,” I thought.
I continued the game consistently scoring 25 points here and 50 points there, but every time I hit 100 there was a spontaneous celebration as I was swarmed by my adoring fans. I let myself enjoy the praise and used it to propel me toward the finish. After all, I now had to live up to my children’s great expectations and my ill-perceived potential.
After capturing the high score I left the game pumped up, feeling rather good about myself. In my children’s eyes I was the champion – the conquering hero. How kind they were to lend me accolades that I did not deserve. I recall the look in their eyes. There was no judgment, no jealousy, just unbridled excitement and satisfaction that I had done well.
Oh, that I could turn around and reinvest those smiles and cheers in each of my children as they live and learn, rise and fall come what may.
Perhaps I can prepare for this feat by heeding these words.
“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you will be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Hebrews 3:13
“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverb 16:24