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Friday, July 15, 2016

Pokemon Go and Perspective


In the past two weeks, we've all seen them. If you're a gamer, you've seen Pokemon--lots of them--everywhere. On street corners, in grocery stores, at churches and even on people's shoulders. You've stopped whatever you're doing--some even driving, talking or working--to focus solely on trying to capture these imaginary and illusive characters. There are mere seconds to concentrate all your efforts  on grabbing them.  At work, I've seen grown men walking around holding their phones in the air. In my neighborhood, I've seen people walking around with their electronic devices and spinning in circles. Conversations that span generations discuss strategy.

I won't begin to dissect the magic that is Pokemon Go. It's genius. It's captivated so many, created its own language and imposed virtual and fantastical characters that interrupt our everyday lives.

Such is creativity. Those who write, paint, sing, sculpt or otherwise put pieces of themselves onto display for others to interpret, criticize or relate to can all appreciate the fleeting moment of inspiration. We listen to conversations and hear intentions. We see beauty and think of the layers of creation and change. We hear songs and become overwhelmed with the spectrum of language and chords. And in doing so, creativity is sparked. Whether it's simply a few words, a design or a note. We see life spinning around us, taunting us to capture tiny inspirations. So we move. Attempting to capture something that will be gone in seconds.

But in seizing our muse, we can't be blind to the other things happening around us or wish to fast forward through a moment to one in which we can focus on our inspiration. If we do, we miss moments we'll never experience again. Last night, I had a flash of inspiration and wanted to sit and start writing. My husband and son were on the couch debriefing his golf game and watching parts of the Open. My folks, who are visiting from Alabama, were wading through documents we'd discovered in my grandfather's old briefcase. I found myself irritated that I didn't have the quiet in that moment to sit and write.

Yet, as quickly as my irritation rose, it subsided because I realized that I sat in the middle of a rare moment. My boys sharing time together over something they love while my folks reminisced about my grandfather. How could I want that moment to pass?

In the past couple of weeks, people have run cars into trees and children have been hit in traffic while stepping out to catch a Pokemon. Being outside in July is no longer about enjoying the summer but, instead, about catching a virtual character. In life, as in Pokemon Go, we must be self-aware to what is happening around us rather than focusing on pursuing what we want. Passions feed us. They bring life to us. And they birth incredible advances in technology, systems, works of art, writing, music and even ministry. But becoming singularly focused and not creating balance in our lives can hurt those around us. Those we love most. And, quite possibly, cause us to metaphorically run our car into a tree.

Embrace your passion. Allow it to feed you and bring you life. But remember that those closest to you are sitting on the outside of your screen and need you to look up from it.