Pokémon and what it says about our search for Jesus

pokemon

My five-year-old daughter caught her first Pokémon the other night.

Proud daddy moment or bad parenting moment?

Holding my phone, she led us around the neighborhood in our search for the hiding creatures. Every time the phone vibrated she would scream with excitement. It is always exciting when you find what you are looking for.

My two-year-old couldn’t figure out why my phone saw the Eevee right in front of us, but she couldn’t seem to see it in real life. I told her my phone was special.

Pokémon Go is more than just a game, it’s a cultural phenomenon. The need to catch Pokémon has brought together unlikely people. On our walk through the neighborhood we were given directions by a teenage boy, a retired couple on their own walk and a shirtless, overweight man sitting on his front porch as to where to find Pokémon.

Did you read the story about the guys who fell off a cliff in search of Pokemon?

What about the couple who jumped a fence at the Toledo zoo tiger exhibit in search of Pokemon? She later said, “It wasn’t the most responsible thing to do, but hey, gotta catch ’em all,”

I guess when you want something bad enough you will go to extraordinary lengths to find it. But with Pokemon Go, once you catch a Pokemon its not over. There is still another to find.

It is an endless cycle

Search – Find – Excitement – Need to search again – Find – Excitement – Need to search again…

This is probably why I saw 30 people running across a field on campus the other day. But when they find whatever they are looking for they will take off running for something else.

Search, find, excitement, repeat. Never enough.

Ironically, this a game that takes place in an alternate reality, but the game just emphasizes what is already happening in reality. I see it happen all the time.

You can pick the category of your life. Relationships, education, career, athletics, or even addictions.

We work hard to accomplish a goal, win a game, or overcome an addiction which is followed by a certain level of excitement. Just like catching an Eevee, we quickly need to move onto something better.

It is exhausting and ultimately unfulfilling to live life this way.

I search, I find, I’m excited but it’s never enough to really satisfy. It is fun for the moment, that’s probably why the game is so addicting. But it doesn’t actually get us what we want.

There is a guy I read about who quit his job to go chase after Pokémon fulltime. We will sacrifice a lot in search of a little more.

We will sacrifice family to get the promotion, morality to find love, or integrity for a grade. But it never actually pays off in the end because there is always another Pokémon to search for and find.

In the book of Jeremiah God says, “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”

There is actually only one thing we can find in life that doesn’t demand we keep searching for more. His name is Jesus.

All the things we search for are answered in Jesus – significance, love, value, peace, hope… you can keep the list going.

So, catch all the Pokémon you want.

Search, find, be excited and repeat as often as you want. But don’t do it in real life.

Search for Jesus, find him, and be excited – there is no need for more.

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One thought on “Pokémon and what it says about our search for Jesus

  1. That’s what I figured out about shopping long ago as a young person. Nothing ever satisfied for long. I also discovered that verse in Jeremiah 29:13.

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