Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Ski Free

By Steve Higginbotham

     How many of you remember playing the early Windows computer game called “Ski Free?”  Those of you who have been using computers since the early 1990’s and Windows 3.1 probably can remember Ski Free.
     The object of Ski Free was to ski downhill, do jumps and tricks, and avoid obstacles along the way.  However, no matter how good a skier you were, at the end of your run, an abominable snowman would chase you down and eat you.  You couldn’t escape it.  No matter what you did, the abominable snowman would overtake you and gobble you up.
     That fact has caused me to wonder why the game was given such an incongruous name – “Ski Free?”  Are you kidding me?  What’s free about skiing down a mountain if you must forfeit your life at the bottom of the run?
     While I haven’t played “Ski Free” in a long time, there are many people who do on a daily basis.  Oh, I’m not talking about the computer game, I’m talking about playing “life games” that have inevitable costly outcomes.  Want an example?  How about people who go through life playing the games of “bitterness,” “anger,” and “revenge?”  Where does that get them in the end?  At the bottom of the “Ski Free Slopes.”  Listen to the apostle Paul, “But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!” (Galatians 5:15).  Friends, there’s no winner when one plays the games of “bitterness,” “anger,” and “revenge.”  No matter how good one gets at “putting one in his/her place,” or “getting even,” those “games” always have the same outcome.
     On second thought, “Ski Free” isn’t really free at all; it’s costly and the one who plays it will pay with his life in the end.  Do I need to finish the “Likewise…?”  Give it some thought.

(NOTE – the idea for this article came from Lee Parish, a student at the Southeast Institute of Biblical Studies, from an illustration he made about the computer game Pac-Mac).

- Steve Higginbotham preaches for the Karns Church of Christ in Knoxville, TN. He may be contacted through the congregation's website at http://www.karnschurch.org


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