“Logan, lights out; it’s time for bed!” Beth called out from the hallway.
“Yeah, I just have to level up!” Logan yelled above the noise blasting in his ears through the headphones.”
His thumbs moved furiously across the game controller. His avatar did his bidding on the screen and fought his way with a lightning-powered saber past an army of alien soldiers and a giant, winged, acid-breathing serpent.
“Logan!” He was just about to slay the beast when Beth’s voice sounded loudly right behind him and startled him into dropping his saber.
“Mom!” He quickly picked up his weapon and fought off the next attack. “I was just about kill the Ophidian overlord.”
“Well, that’s great. Are you about ready to kill the lights?”
“Yeah. I told you I just have to level up.” His eyes remained glued on the screen as his fingers fought off the Ophidians.
“You don’t have to level up, Logan. You have get to bed so you can go to school tomorrow and not sleep through Algebra.”
“I will, Mom, I’m almost to the next level, seriously.”
“Well, seriously, you spend way too much time playing video games.”
“Yes!” Logan exclaimed and threw his hands up in the air. “Take that, Ophidians. New high score! Awesome!”
Logan finally turned to face Beth. “What?”
She gave him one of those looks.
“Okay. Sorry. I’m goin’ to bed.”
He set aside the headphones and controller and went to his bed where he slipped under the Spider-Man bedspread.
“Did you finish your homework?” Beth asked.
“How ‘bout your Bible-reading?”
“Seriously? Can’t it wait til tomorrow?”
“If you’ve got time for the Ophidians, you’ve got time to read your Bible.”
Beth shook her head. “Logan, it’s not a punishment. Reading your Bible is something important that you should do every day. And not just because I say so, but because it’s…” she stopped trying to think of a way to explain it to him in terms he’d understand. “Well, it’s like that video game.”
Beth smiled. “The devil’s like that serpent…dragon…monster-thingy.”
“The Ophidian overlord.”
“Okay. He’s like that…and if you didn’t have that super, electro-static sword doohickey…”
“It’s a Level 5 Omega-Force Firebolt Saber.”
“Right, and if you didn’t have that, you wouldn’t be able to fight him off, right?”
“Alright. Well, praying and reading your Bible are like your superpowers, your weapons to fight off the devil and his attacks. Without them, you’re…” she fell short of another analogy, but Logan supplied it for her.
“Like a Haraitian without his progenitor gauntlet.”
“Okay, we’ll go with that. But see, prayer and scripture are the things that keep us close to God and help us to…to win the game. So, you see why you need to read your Bible?”
Logan nodded. “Yeah.”
“Good. Why don’t you check out Ephesians 6:10-11 and then I want you get to bed, okay?”
He found the verse and read it aloud after she’d left. “Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
He contemplated that for a moment, then smiled and nodded. “Cool.”
Suddenly he seemed to be looking at the whole world from a level up.
© Whitney L. Schwartz
Written for Christian Flash Weekly #49