Thursday, October 29, 2009

Detour to FarmVille

God is SO clever!  I've been thinking about my post from yesterday ALL day today - and it finally dawned on me that He had a message for ME in my very own post!  Now, how clever is that?

This is not the first time that this has happened to me.  More often than not, when I either write or speak, I learn something from the One who is pouring through me.  I LOVE it when that happens.  I just hope that He has something for my listeners and my readers, too - and that they're not having to just suffer through my own personal little lessons.  I trust that they do ... since, like I said, God is so clever like that.  He is able to work on all sorts of levels and in all sorts of hearts at the very same time.

I wonder if you're wondering what my big revelation was ... Are you on the edge of your seat?  Are ya ready?!  Are you sure??!!

Okay, okay, here it is:

I'm not going to play FarmTown or FarmVille or Cafe World or any other social gaming application on Face Book.

Isn't that mind blowing?

Ha!  So, maybe not mind blowing ...

First, for the untutored, an overview of the aforementioned games.  These games are all simulations in which you manage farms (FarmTown and FarmVille) or restaurants (Cafe World) and can earn points and virtual cash which you then reinvest in your farm or cafe.  You earn cash by selling produce, animals, or food - and by inviting friends to be your neighbor.

I've played similar games - like my son's Webkinz account - and find that they can be a fun way to unwind - and decorate (one of my passions) without spending any real cash.  What is so alarming about the games I mention - is that unless you check in on a regular basis (anywhere from 3 minutes for Chips and Guacamole in Cafe World to 3 days for a crop of Sunflowers in FarmVille), your investments will expire (the food rots and the crops wither).  Checking in becomes rather addictive.  I mean - "Oh my goodness, I've got to get home and check on my virtual French Onion Soup before it goes bad!!!"

And, yes - I've really thought that!

I've also begun to see FarmVille versions in my mind's eye of every single real tree I encounter.  When I see an apple tree, I think of FarmVille's animated version.  When I see any tree, I think FarmVille's animated version.

I've become a slave to a faux farm!!!  Something is WRONG with that!!!

Of course, it is always so much easier to recognize the error of our ways when we witness them in others.  My hubby also plays FarmVille - and he spends time on the computer harvesting "crops", sowing "seeds", and sending "gifts" to his FaceBook friends - and it all takes so much time!!!  And, he's even raced in from yardwork because, "Oh my goodness!  The corn is ready!"  If only he were as attentive to our real-life issues.  He removed the bathroom fan over a month ago because it was not working - and now instead of a fan that won't turn on, we've a hole in the ceiling through which insulation fell for 2 weeks before he ingeniusly covered the hole with a Fleet Farm bag!  My word - would I ever love to hear him run in from yardwork saying, "Oh my goodness!  The fan is ready to be installed!"  Why, oh why, couldn't that be the case?!

Of course, the point of this tirade is that what I can so clearly see as an issue in someone else (in this case, my beloved), has become an issue for me!  I hate when that happens!  Except that when I finally recognize my own issue, I am completely humbled - and that is actually a good thing in God's economy.

Sooooo ... back to the post from yesterday.  The general moral of the tale (at least for me) is that it is so easy to become distracted from the road Home.  God's given me the gift of time and energy and talents and passions for all sorts of things - and I've given myself to Him, freely and of my own will ... or so I say ... But what do my choices say?  Are these games good stewardship of my time?  No way!  Do I condemn those who choose to play games?!  NO WAY!  Are you kidding?!  That was me!  But today, I say, my time is better used elsewhere.  Time is a gift - and I've vowed use it for the Giver.

By the way - this doesn't mean that I won't sometimes get sidetracked ... in spite my best intentions, I'd NEVER make that claim!!  And, oh, also, before walking away from my little gaming addictions, I stopped back just once more to harvest the crops - and clean up the stoves.  Can't have someone stopping by and discovering that I'm a shabby farmer and restauranteer!!!


  1. so funny that i read this today... i was thinking this morning during the stewardship message that i spend TOO MUCH time on the computer. although i don't farm, own a restaurant or any of those other games... i am on the computer putzing around a lot. my exact thoughts this morning while jan was talking were "hmmm, what could i be doing for God instead of fb'ing???" my answer? a lot.
    that's what i could be doing.

  2. Since I quit FB, I have found quite a bit of time...but I miss the social interaction A LOT, and if Mike would ever say that he wouldn't care if I went back on, it would take me a millisecond for me to reinstate my account! sis showed me her farmville account - she has quite the set up there. She says you can now pay REAL MONEY for "extras"...we were laughing about that. Real money for virtual stuff. Sad thing is, there are people who will do that. Yikes! Bad for the payer...good for the seller, I guess. 5 years ago, who would have believed all of this? Like, when my sister told me about Farmville, I didn't get it...but if I had been an avid FB'er all along, I'd probably have a Farmville farm right along with her! Kind of like a smoker who can't smell their own smoke on their clothes. It's so easy to get sucked into all of that stuff. I'm finding that now with blogs. I didn't at first, but now, as I'm finding bargain hunting blogs...well...

  3. Yes ladies, too easy to get sidetracked. TOO easy online forsure!!! I find the internet to be a blessing in many respects - and an absolute curse in others. I've a true love/hate relationship. I pray daily that all my choices (including those online) will be for His glory ... and still, I always fall short. What an amazing gift is His grace?!?!

  4. What a great post!
    I quit Farmville and the like for the reasons you mentioned. I was just spending too much time... wasting time.
    And I felt a little nuts, too, because I was always worried if my rice field was going to wither up before I could get back online. YIKES!
    Good post, good post. :D


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