“Other People” and Their Fantasy Kingdoms

There’s this new Facebook game, in the vein of Farmville, called ESPNU College Town. Clearly I’m above wasting time on such games, but you know…other people might. And those “other people” have told me that it’s pretty fun.

The concept is similar to Sim City, which hit the scene abou5 15 years ago. You build and manage your own campus. First picking a University affiliation (my campus is cleverly named “Mizzouniversity”…I mean, my friend’s campus…), you then build your own dorms, fraternities, stadiums, and academic buildings while decorating the campus with trees and pedestrian paths.

Of course Facebook isn’t the only place for such games. Millions of people across the world play games such as World of Warcraft for hours a day, every day. There was the tragic case in Korea where WoW play, at least in some manner, was partially responsible for a couple neglecting their child, leading to his death. A couple in Reno, Nevada blamed their neglect of two young children on “video game addiction.”

Fantasy football is another “game” that people are in to. It’s estimated that as many as 40 million Americans will play fantasy football each Sunday this year.

If you’re like me, it’s easy to mock and condescend to such “fantasy gamers” who spend 15% or more of their awake lives building their “fantasy kingdoms.” Parents criticize kids for playing video football when they could be outside playing real football. We shake our heads at 24 year-olds who spend hours a day playing Role-Playing Games when they could be graduating from college or making actual money.

Those “other people” spend so much (check that…waste so much) of their lives on fantasy kingdoms.

But the Bible says that any kingdom other than God’s kingdom is a fantasy kingdom.

The kingdom of career is a fantasy kingdom.
The kingdom of security is a fantasy kingdom.
The kingdom of success is a fantasy kingdom.
The kingdom of leisure is a fantasy kingdom.
The kingdom of high respect is a fantasy kingdom.
The kingdom of a good family is a fantasy kingdom.
The kingdom of money is a fantasy kingdom.

I have built and am building a lot of sub-kingdoms in my life. I think that I’m building for the kingdom of God. But am I? Are you? Or are we often just building fantasy kingdoms?

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