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i have calluses on my thumbs this morning. and they're red. no, i was not working out too hard on the weights, and if you know me at all i was not working in the lawn too hard! i was working hard on "dig dug," the arcade game from the early 1980s, until nearly 2:00 a.m. this morning. i played that game for about six hours straight-- the boys were in bed, christy was out with her friends. and i was chasing dragons and other guys deep under ground, pumping them up or dropping rocks on their heads. brilliant entertainment.

the only thing that would have made it perfect would have been to play on an atari system, not a nintendo 64. but alas, the atari went into a garage sale many years ago. possibly the same one when my mom got rid of my trombone! james was dying to play video games last night. warming my heart with memories of the in and out mini mart, scheel's pharmacy and the bay cinema four of my youth, his favorite games to play are all in one: an old school reunion of pac man, ms. pac man, galaga, galaxian, pole position, and dig dug.

james loves all these games, probably the pac man games the least. he likes shooting alien bugs from a space ship, racing other cars (actually crashing into the billboards and exploding) and chasing after those before-mentioned dragons under the earth's surface. i was so caught up in the nostalgia that i played, obsessively and with an insane amount of rage for a long time. i was 10 again. i had a mountain of quarters in my pockets, my bike chained to a pole outside.

i guess the best part was that my kid enjoyed something i enjoyed when i was little. he already plays with my old star wars toys from 1977-1983, and loves them. now too he "digs" the games i "dug." there's something awesome about your son thinking you are cool. i know it won't last forever. but i think about my dad, how i love hearing his stories of growing up in wharton, tx., doing all kinds of crazy things with his friends. or his classic navy stories. and i forgot to call him on father's day. sorry, dad.

for some of us, this feeling of nostalgia and shared interest/love comes from the church. we want our kids to grow up in the church, because we did. we want the church to be relevant today because it was when our parents brought us. we want it to be important and life changing, because life lessons learned there last forever. many of us mourn the loss of the church in american culture as its center. we're not living in the past-- nostalgia is not a denial of the present or the future-- it is a deep appreciation of what is dear to us, an earnest need to share it with future generations.

as fun as dig dug was last night, there is no inherent power there to change society's evils, to make the world a better place. in the end, it's a silly video game, and a poor rip off of pacman at that. but that power still resides in the church of Jesus Christ. and if it's been awhile and you're ready to relive that past, or to share it with your children or grandchildren, we're open for business this sunday in duncanville and around the world.


Anonymous said…
Awesome! One of my favorites that you've written. The line about your pockets full of quarters and your bike chained up outside is classic. I loved the closing line even more.

-Annie B.

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