No, this isn’t a diatribe against video games. I think we all enjoy indulging in a little gaming on the computer from time to time – or perhaps a little more often than that.
But video games make a great analogy for life and death.
Here we are on Earth, a “copy and shadow” of Heaven, the Bible tells us. Like an alternate reality – beautiful, intriguing, complex. The Programmer of this virtual environment designed it to reflect the world in which He lives, as if it’s possible to reflect Heaven in three puny little dimensions.
In this game, you, the player, explore Level One, overcoming its challenges, discovering its hidden mysteries, gaining as many points as you can. But once you conquer the level, or your time runs out, you don’t hang around.
No. A player moves on to the next Level.
There is nothing more to gain from the now-empty surroundings of Level One. The sterile, flat, shallow environment has only surface beauty. You have already received the training, earned the points, overcome the evil. It’s time to move on. This place has nothing more to offer. Like a house without furnishings.
God equipped us with a burning desire to live. The instinct to survive is as basic as the instinct to seek happiness and to reproduce, and it’s a good thing, too. If Earth is to Heaven what a virtual environment is to the real world, who would want to stay around? What would be the incentive to finish the Level?
Real life has its shades, nuances, emotions, personalities, history, organizations, societies, and experiences – complete with hot chocolate, Gold medals, newborn-baby smell, and tomato plants. Imagine the new dimensions we’ll find in Heaven!
Nevermind, you can’t. Jesus said we can’t even conceive of what is waiting for us in Heaven.
Don’t be afraid to die. When He calls you, leave this Level for the empty shell, the proving ground that it is. Empty, except for Christ’s presence in the Eucharist. Let Him take you to the Real World, the next level.