Yes, I downloaded the game Flappy Bird.
Yes, I have yelled at that poor little bird.
Yes, I almost threw my device across the room in frustration.
I bet you have too.
Registering an incredible 50 million downloads, Flappy Bird, is a cultural phenomenon. This past week the developer of the game stopped selling Flappy Bird in the app store. He was interviewed by Forbes Magazine and asked why he took it down.
“Flappy Bird was designed to play in a few minutes when you are relaxed, but it happened to become an addictive product. I think it has become a problem. To solve that problem, it’s best to take down Flappy Bird. It’s gone forever.”
You can read the whole story here.
Why are we addicted to such a simple game?
The game tricks us into thinking with one more try, we will do better. Sometimes we do better – but it is never enough. Which is why that game is frustrating, maddening and even heartbreaking. Its why you curse under your breath and throw things.
We are obsessed with winning, but you cannot win. There is no end. The only way to be a winner is in comparison to your previous score or compared to your friend across the room. But the game always ends with a loss.
You can do better but you cannot win.
This is life without Jesus. There is a lie that has been around long before Flappy Bird, it goes like this: “Doing better is enough.” But it is not, that’s why the game keeps you coming back for more. That is also why in life you will never be satisfied with better.
You can sin less but you cannot be sinless on your own.
It is not enough to be better than you were yesterday. It is not enough to be better than someone else. This is the fundamental problem of humanity. This kind of life tends to be frustrating, maddening, and heartbreaking. Doing better is not what satisfies.
Only Jesus wins. He wins on our behalf.
Flappy Birds is like life. It is frustrating, until I realize that Jesus has already won for me, I don’t have to play the game anymore. I don’t need to be better. I need Jesus. The cross is the only thing that is enough. Jesus took care of it.
When I realize that Jesus has won for me, I am free to lose. When I stop trying to save myself by doing better and let Jesus save, it’s incredibly peaceful.
What if everyone knew this truth? What if you actually believed it? What if you devoted your life to proclaiming the saving power of Jesus death and resurrection?
The game always ends by losing. Jesus has already won. I cannot lose.