Let Go of Rings and Things
WHEN Sonic the Hedgehog first appeared on video game systems for Sega in the 1990s, he was touted as the fastest video game character created.
Often referred to as “the blue blur”, Sonic’s original games were all about speed and ripping through levels as quickly as possible.
But have you ever played Sonic… slowly? Just ambled your way through it, collecting as many rings as possible and taking in the scenery?
Okay, okay, so the storyline would suggest time is of the essence and it’s unlikely Sonic himself would stop for morning tea and admire a quaint waterfall cascading between checkered brown and orange hills, but there’s something to take away from a “Sunday drive” style of playing the creature in the red pointy boots.
When Sonic gets hit, whether he’s travelling at full speed or standing still, it’s like his world falls apart- rings explode from within him.
Where exactly he is storing all those rings remains a mystery, but that’s beside the point.
The player must then make a quick decision (pun intended)- will she/he chase after those rings within reach, or press on, confident that the end goal will be better than trying to hold onto something that essentially has no purpose within the game.
What’s that? No purpose to those millions of gold rings in Sonic the Hedgehog you say? Preposterous!
Well, think it through- they provide points; an extra life if you notch up 100 of them; and they give the option of entering a bonus level- but all of these things are essentially just tooling you up so you can finish the game which involves defeating Dr Robtonik and freeing the animals being turned into robots.
Really, you could play Sonic the Hedgehog without the rings and the game would still work.
It’s the end that draws you on to play, not the rings.
For followers of Christ, it’s the end that draws us on as well- the promise of life with our Creator after we die.
There is something better and bigger beyond these deteriorating bodies, and that’s something worth striving for.
There are plenty of “rings” on earth- bright and shiny things that can’t be held onto once your last breath is breathed.
Even on earth, money and possessions won’t be able to lift you out of all types of trouble.
Don’t get caught up with gathering enough “stuff”. Look long term. Look eternal. Look beyond Robotnik even.
You’ll soon discover the futility of chasing and collecting rings.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” - Matthew 6:19-21.