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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What Master Chief Taught Us About Being a Christian in Halo 4

SPOILER ALERT
Chances are everyone who is going to play Halo 4 has, but on the off chance you haven't and don't want anything spoiled....you've been warned.

At the very end of Halo 4, Master Chief is standing on the deck of the Infinity gazing pensively down at the Earth after defeating the Didact but losing Cortana. Lasky joins the Chief and shares his thoughts about Earth and his sympathies for losing Cortana. When Master Chief responds with the company line of "Humanity is to be protected at all cost" (paraphrase), Lasky points out that he speaks of humanity as if he isn't a part of it. That soldiers are people to. Lasky is simply expressing what has been the main conflict inside the Chief's armor throughout the whole game: his humanity. Despite all that has been done to him Chief is still a human being and not a machine, but how much of human is he?

This point can't be lost on us as Christians. We are human. We have hearts and minds that are completely unique and come with emotions and thoughts that bring all kinds of solutions and problems. God does make us a new creation on the day that He saves us and gifts us with the Holy Spirit, but that doesn't change the fact that we are still completely human. This has a number of very important meanings to us.

We have limits- While machines can simply keep on running as long as basic energy is supplied, we have limits. We simply cannot keep going forever. God had a day of rest not because He needed it but because we did. Not only do we need a day of rest in the week, but we need to take extended periods of time to rest and to recharge. No one can take the burdens of life without rest, and times of rest can be quiet moments for God to speak to us.

We have emotions- machines simply accomplish tasks. There is no worrying about whether or not the duct work feels appreciated, the air conditioning simply cools the house. All that matters is the bottom line. Too often we try and work the same way. We go about trying to get to the bottom line that we want without taking into account the effect it can have on the people around us. We end up alienating and hurting those around us and ultimately robbing ourselves of any joy once we actually reach our goal. Goals are great and give us something to strive towards, but we have to ensure that we meet the emotional needs of those around us and ourselves on our journey to get there.

We have a face (we're unique)- This is the real crux of Chief's struggle by the end of Halo 4. Chief has a face (even if we haven't seen it yet) and he truly is a unique human with a personality, but it's all hidden behind his armor and dedication to his military life. All too often we do something very similar. We hide our real faces and selves behind what we think people want us to be or behind some other kind of masks because we are afraid of being who we are.

I can't stress this enough because it has been the biggest revelation in my life since the day I was saved. We are made as individuals by the Creator Himself, and He doesn't make mistakes. We are hardwired the way we are for a reason. It took me a long time to understand this, but once I did it rocked my world. We all have passions and prejudices, and we have skills and weaknesses. These are all put there in our lives to equip us for the unique work God has for us and to steer us in that direction. I am not a mathematician by any stretch of the imagination. I can't stand it and I'm not very good at it. It was pretty obvious early on that God did not have any plans to make me the next great math guru. However, He did give me a passion for video games. I struggled for a long time about letting too much of my "nerdiness" show because I didn't want the social stigma attached to being a "gamer". I hid behind my other talents and passions, whether it be sports, music, or whatever. What God ended up showing me was that my passion for games brought me into contact with a lot of people who were hurting and in need of the Gospel, and it provided me with the perfect (and in some cases the ONLY) tool to be able to reach out to them: the games. It became much easier to be comfortable in my own skin when I realized that it was part of God's plan to use me t reach the world with His Good News.

Master Chief will face his demons in the coming games in the Halo series. We as Christians must remind ourselves daily when we look in the mirror just how human we really are and of our all encompassing need for the power of the Holy Spirit and the fellowship of brothers and sisters in Christ walking beside us. If Master Chief ultimately cannot survive being a machine, then neither can we.


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