A couple days ago my family had some friends come over for dinner. We were talking about God and how he is always with us, and should exist to us in every aspect of our lives. A couple hours before then, I was talking with a friend about Sword Art Online. Then, as dinner proceeded, thoughts clicked together in my mind and I shoved the two concepts together. Why is Kirito a better Christian then me? Well if we pretend that SAO is God, then Kirito would smoke me at trying to have more of God then me.
How can I equate a virtual reality with God? What if God were the game SAO and we worked towards God the way Kirito does?
“Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23
You might say that a big difference between the two is that Kirito was stuck in the virtual reality and he had to work hard to beat it. But actually it’s kind of the same. God created the world, he’s omnipresent, so we can’t really escape him even if we want to. The world “escape” also implies that there is a second place we’d like to return to once we leave the unwanted place. As human being, we have never known a world without God, so we can’t really be trapped. But if that’s the word we’re going to use, then yes, we’re “trapped” in a virtual reality of God.
When we think about God though, we don’t think of being trapped by him. We don’t feel like there is every too much God because we’re not “going at it” as hard as Kirito is. We are not Kirito who pours his whole being and life into the game, we like to live our lives with God a little here and there. It’s more comfortable that way. But if we live like that, don’t we miss out on all the cool boss fights where God teaches us amazing things, and forsake all the wondrous floors once when we level up? What if we lived our lives like we were constantly playing a game where we get to know God more?
“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.” 1 Timothy 6:12-16
Something I’ve noticed about some Christians is that they like to put God in a box. “God is part of this aspect of my life, the Christian part, but not this one. This part of my life is “Secular”. It has nothing to do with God so why would he be interested in it?”
Did Kirito say, “This part of my life is SAO and this other part right here is personal”? No! Every part of his identity in that world was surrounded by the game. He could never stop playing the game. In the same way, we can’t stop playing “the God game.” God doesn’t turn on and off once we put down the bible or finish a praise song. God will continue just as much as the game continues for Kirito.
“Search for the Lord and for his strength; continually search for him.” Psalm 105:4
At dinner, my Dad’s friend suggested to me that “things” can’t be Christian. Only people can be labeled Christian because we have a soul and objects don’t. (And then there’s also that debate to whether or not a song is more a Christian song or a secular song. When it comes down to it, it’s just a song that may or may not glorify God.)
So how then do you categorize whether something is Christian or not? And if that’s a difficult task, how then do you choose what parts of your life God is and isn’t apart of if God is only real for you when you’re doing “Christian things”?
For me, I was able to find more of God through anime, because when I started watching, I was like a sponge, wanting to find God through the art of tory telling. I found a way early on to make God apart of anime, something that seams very far away from God. Here, I can prove to you that God can be apart of the things that just don’t seam like things God would want to be apart of.
Who are we to think that we know what God does and doesn’t like to do with us? God is interested in everything we do! He wants to have a personal relationship with us so we can be buds all the time. Jesus came down to earth as a man, so he could get on our level, so to speak. Unlike SAO that seams distant and daunting, God will come to us where we are. If our hearts are hurting, he’s going to be there for us the exact way we need him.
So even thought we need to put time and effort into our relationship with God with the same passion like we’re trying to beat SAO, God is still going to come to us no matter what level we’re at. So now we see that it’s a relationship, not really a game.
The people who did the best in SAO were the people who looked the game in the face, and created a relationship with it. We don’t need to trap ourselves in an artificial spiritual world like SAO, but we should strive to make God our reality. As SAO penetrates the lives of everyone in the system, so God wants to be apart of every aspect of how we play the life game.