I suppose you need to be a certain age to remember video games with those awkward, chunky
. Originally, joystick was simply a slang term for the lever used by a pilot to control the up and down, and side-to-side motion on the airplane. When video games first arrived on the market
(how many decades ago?)
many came with only a
to attempt to move the characters around the screen to earn points, move another level, and avoid destruction. I have to admit here that it's kind of funny, but we have a PacMan game that attaches to our TV, complete with a joystick. The grand kids love to
how to do it!
As AWANA kicked back into full swing after the holidays, the leaders asked me to share with the children about making the most of their time. The theme for the night was "Beat the Clock". So, last night, I shared with those tender young ones about time - one group of Kindergartners through second graders, and another group of third through sixth graders - the brevity of life and the importance of knowing where you will be when time runs out.
I know the Spirit of God was truly present in both the words I spoke and in the softened, opened hearts of the hearers as the room full of wired and wiggly children came to a hush as I shared about Scott's short sixteen years of
here on earth
(see Scott's Story in sidebar)
. I used Scott's story to illustrate a couple of lessons to impact their use of time and guide them toward an eternity with God.
Most children play some form of electronic games these days, from Leapster to PlayStation to Wii. I shared with them that when we play these games, we make mistakes, we lose points, we even die. And all that happens is a blinking screen that tells us
. To get another chance and even
come back to life
, we just have to push the
button again. Life is
like those games. When Scott had his accident, there was not light flashing "GAME OVER" and definitely no "START" button to give him another chance to do life over. We need to decide now how we will spend our time, and who will be the Lord of our life.
The second lesson I shared was more about where Scott was now. It could have been a mystery, I told them, but he left clues . . . evidence of his eternity in heaven. The way Scott lived his life helps us know we will experience a glorious reunion with him. I challenged the children last night to live their lives in such a way, that when they are gone, whether they live many years or only a few, there will be evidence for those who remain to know exactly where they will spend eternity - who was Lord of their life, what was important to them, how they spent their time.
UPDATE: Once again, it was a blessing to know what Hebrews 11:4b states about Abel is also true for Scott:
"though he be dead, he still speaks."
The life Scott lived and the young age at which he died continues to draw young people into the Kingdom. Two children gave their lives to the Lord last night, and will have a chance to meet Scott.
UPDATE: We were notified that the following week, more children talked with their AWANA leaders about Scott's life, and a total of 8 children have received Christ as their Savior. Thank you, God, for redeeming our loss with the joy of seeing these young ones gain eternal life.