Hi, my name is Chelsea and I play too much Flappy Bird.
I didn’t mean to get addicted. My husband came home from a church high school retreat in January and casually asked if I had ever heard of Flappy Bird. The answer was no and as I watched him lay awake at night trying to dart a bird through some pipes, I thought, Gosh, that game is a waste of time! I didn’t even ask to try it on his phone, I was NOT going to waste my time on that silly game.
A few weeks later I saw something on Twitter about Flappy Bird disappearing the next day. What? As I investigated more, sure enough, the app creator was removing it from the iTunes store after realizing it was becoming too addictive to people.
Huh? It’s going away forever? You mean I won’t have the option to download it later? What if I decide I want to play it? Or what if I am missing out on something? And how could someone allow themselves to become addicted to a game like that? That would never happen to me …
Seconds later it was downloaded on my phone. Just in case it really did go away the next day. (Which it did.)
It started casually. One night after exhausting other mindless things to do I clicked on it. A few gentle taps and my bird dove to the ground.
Tap, tap, tap, tap tap tap, tap …
2! I made it through 2 pipes!
This was a lot harder than I thought.
Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap tap tap, tap ….
Fast forward to a few weeks later. Tap, tap, tap tap tap …
Last week I laid in bed tapping, methodically trying to get my little red bird through as many pipes as possible when I was hit a challenge, I needed to blink, but I couldn’t.
Okay, not couldn’t, but wouldn’t. If I blinked I would have to take my eyes off the screen for a split second and surely would plummet to the ground. 74, 75, 76 – I was flying through the pipes, but I needed to blink! My eyes!
DANG! I knew that I had to somehow work in my ability to blink while playing the game. The next 20 minutes were spent trying to train myself to blink and play at the same time, but whenever I would think about blinking and attempting it, I would dive into a pipe. One game I got my left eye stuck trying to re-open from a blink, but was too afraid that the movement would distract me too much from the game and ended up playing a round of 85 with only my right eye. (It ended because I blinked with my right eye and well, you know the story from here, plummeted.)
I knew I had a serious problem when I sat there tapping and started to refuse to blink.
Mind over matter, keep tapping! Do. Not. Take. Your. Eyes. Off. The. Screen.
Ahhhh, my eyes! So dry! Can. Not. Blink!
Well that game ended because my contact fell out of my eye. I kid you not. Apparently blinking is not something you can just will yourself not to do.
I found my dried, shriveled contact on my blanket, I set my phone down and walked away. I will forever remember that my score of 102 was at the expense of my contact.
But all this made me think – I fell into a moment where I could not think of or do anything other than what I was focusing on. It became impossible for me even to blink because I only allowed myself to have one thing that could hold my attention. It reminded me about how easily we can fall into that same routine when we are going through something or worrying about an issue. We can become so focused on the obstacle, the challenge, the trial, that the simplest act of living can be put on hold as we obsess over our circumstances.
My Flappy Bird experience reminded me that I have to have balance.
It can be so easy to get drawn into our Thing. I can start to focus on infertility and all that surrounds it – the what-ifs, the how-comes, the why-thems, and it’s like I forget to blink. Infertility starts to define my life instead of being a small part of what I’m facing. It was a great reminder to me that it’s okay to want something, but it’s not okay to lose myself in the process. I have to blink.
John 10:10b says “I [Jesus] came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
Regardless of our situations, we are meant to experience life – all of life, not just one piece of it.
The definition(s) of “abundant” are as follows: richly adequate, occurring in great quantities, generously supplied, abounding.
When we tap into our great resource, our Source of joy, He is able to provide us a life that is richly abounding. It doesn’t mean we won’t have challenges – life is made up of different seasons, the good and bad, but with Him as our focus, not our circumstances, we can recognize that all of our needs are generously supplied.
I have been able to ease up on my Flappy Bird addiction. I still can’t figure out how to blink and play the game at the same time. And because of that, I am not able to enjoy the experience as much. So for the sake of my contact supply, I will cut the ties. It won’t be easy, but a balance is necessary, as is blinking. Today I encourage you, stop being consumed by your Thing. Being focused on anything other than Him will only lead to you plummeting. And, well, we all know plummeting is no fun!!