Monday, April 9, 2012

One wrong move…

Some of you know that I really enjoy playing Angry Birds. It’s not just the birds and the pigs, it’s strategy and consideration and focus on how things come apart, that I like, about the game. I often just try to improve my scores, because I enjoy the game so much. I do use an iPad, so it’s a little easier to see that on a smartphone or iPod, but it takes thinking, strategy and effort to win the game.
It’s not a simple game, but it’s concept is simple, which is one of the reasons it’s so popular. There are approximately 900 levels in the series of games that are out: Angry Birds, Angry Birds Rio, Angry Birds Seasons, and the newest member, Angry Birds Space. I have completed all those levels with three stars and am in the top 120 in the world in Rio (out of 1,778,113) and top 85 in Space (out of 961,962) - at least for right now - more players join and move up the ranks all the time. My point is that I like these games. They are addictive, keep me thinking and fun!
The thing, with the Angry Birds series, is that…

You have to be accurate.
You have to think through your plan.
You have to keep focused on your task.
I see this, in life, all the time too. Many people fail miserably, in life, because they get off course, because of one wrong move. They choose a course that causes nothing but failure, and they can’t seem to ever get back on track. 
Life is hard, but if you choose…
With accuracy - you have to make choices that are wise. If I shoot an angry bird off into the air and away from the target, I will never win the game. If I, either don’t shoot at a target, or shoot randomly, in my life, I will never make it to any kind of success. I have to choose wisely, and when I fail, I have to get back on course. I can’t keep making the bad decisions and errors that cause me to fail, again and again.
With thought - you can’t haphazardly make choices in life. You have to have some sort of plan. You may not have a 10 year plan of attack on everything in life, but you should have some goals set in place, that you thought and prayed through ahead of time. If I look at my Angry Birds targets and see where the pigs are hiding, I will have a better chance to hit them, than if I just keep shooting without a plan. We have to have foresight to be successful, in life.
With focus - you can’t make it without keeping focused on the end results, or you will fail and fall away form your goals. Being focused will help you, when you fail, to get back to the target. We all hear, about lots of people, who kept failing at something, and then hit it after they kept going. If I keep making minor adjustments, eventually, I can hit all those pigs with a single shot, on most every level. Don’t give up and keep focused on what you are supposed to be doing.

I see these issues with some teens, that I work with, and have worked with over the years, at church. They seem like they want to do what’s best for them, but they keep making little (and, sometimes big) choices that steer them down a path of failure. 
Lots of them have never made it back on the successful path and wallowed in failure right into their adult lives. It’s so sad to see, because the failures can destroy their lives and other’s around them. I’ve seen teens, over the years, that made bad choices, end up: murdered, in prison (several), having children out of wedlock, getting divorced, injure or kill someone else because of their actions, get into a cycle of addition to drugs, alcohol or other things, flopping in and out of church, in sickness, in cults, in pain and sorrow. The inaccurate, thoughtless, unfocused choices hurt their lives intensely.
That sounded mean-spirited, but, when we keep making wrong turns, we will fail and end up hurting. I don’t want to see, even one more person, head the wrong way.
Lessons Learned: Make good choices. They don’t just impact now, they impact our whole lives and eternity. Play Angry Birds - it’s fun.
Thoughts: What bad choices have you made? Are you turning those choices around, now?

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