Church Life, Family, Whimsy


A corner of my city.

My older children would be horrified to hear that the 13-year-old and I are both playing SimCity BuildIt on our iPads. Back in the day when Super NES became part of our household, I took on the seemingly innocent city planning game to show that I was a good sport, and to learn how to use the controller so I could also play MarioKart with my little guys. I loved creating neighborhoods, as long as I could avoid the disasters that were part of the game, fire and earthquake and Bowser rampaging through your city like Godzilla. All was fine until I stayed up most of one night; the next morning, my oldest, then 9, said, “Mom, I don’t think this game is good for you.”

In this generation of the game, which is much more sophisticated and complex, you have the choice of which areas of city life to develop, and unless you pay for extra SimCash and coins, those choices have to be made based on the budget you can raise yourself by creating and trading resources. I’ve been focused on ground transportation and education, versus entertainment and gambling.

Some of the in-game challenges involve choosing disasters and wars that will allow you to earn more. I’ve read that you can always rebuild. In fact, that’s the point. You achieve more by allowing the disasters and rebuilding after them, or fighting the wars and reconstructing your city. But I cannot bring myself to do it. The real world is hard enough.

We do something similar in the life of the church when we dream about what we might build, but we also consider the limits for what is possible. What can a particular congregation do well? What is needed in the community? Where can we put our limited resources to make the world we are building a little better, on behalf of Jesus Christ?

Playing the game my way, I don’t think I will ever save up enough to build the airport or the Parisian quarter my residents keep asking for in pop-up bubbles. But I am planning to stick with it at least until Level 40, when the game unlocks Worship. And I promise not to stay up all night to do it.

This post was written for the RevGalBlogPals Weekly e-Reader.


While the Pasta Cooks

In the minutes before dinner,

 boiling water bubbling,

pasta quickly growing soft,

daughter plays the piano,

dog lounges post-walk,

and I strategize:

When do I need to go back to church?

How many things can I do before bedtime?

What do I need to pack for my trip?

What do the pets need?

Do I have house keys? 

And why did I cook a whole box?


Last Wishes

On Facebook, your page shows a random, always-changing sample of your friends. Tonight a college friend's name came up. No picture. He's not active on Facebook, and I've been to his page once, to say hello when he friended me last summer. 

When I looked just now, I found the following in the little box where you can write something about yourself. I think it's a compliment. I think.

"i just mowed the yard. i think i'm having a coronary. my face is purple. i would like to be buried in kamouraska, canada, with martha [spong] speaking over my remains."