There is a fun and addictive computer game called The Sims that has long been on the market. Whether or not you've played it, you may know that it is based on the concept of creating simulated people, moving them into a fully customizable simulated home in a simulated neighborhood, managing their simulated lives…you get the point. You are responsible for developing Sim families, getting jobs for your Sims, furnishing their homes, landscaping their yards and so forth. Much like with our own lives, to maintain a top level of happiness for your Sims, you must constantly observe and manage their levels of physical energy, hunger, hygiene, social life, fun, and other such realistic needs. However, there is one ironic issue concerning this game: there is no provision for spiritual needs! Though a massive amount of detail went into the creation of this game, the Sims have no way to satisfy spiritual needs—they don’t even have a meter to gauge such a critical thing. Sadly, this game very accurately reflects the state of the world. However, to what degree does The Sims reflect the state of our own lives? Are we in danger of becoming Sims ourselves?
Much like the requirements in the game, we all ensure that our daily and even hourly needs are constantly met. If we go too long without eating or drinking, we grab a snack. If we lack entertainment, we turn on the radio or television. When we need companionship, we call a friend or get together for fellowship. When we hear the “call of nature,” we rush off to the restroom. However, do we maintain such constant awareness of our spiritual needs? Do we ensure that our need for fellowship with our Creator is fulfilled each day? Do we have a “meter” that registers when we’ve spent too little time in prayer or reading Scripture? Does our happiness level decline if we neglect our spiritual hunger long enough? Does some kind of alarm go off when we haven’t worshipped God, given of our gifts and talents, fasted, or served others?
We often focus so much attention on our common needs and wants that we forget about the spirit inside of us. We may feel like things are going well because most of our needs have been satisfied…but something is still lacking. Well, Deuteronomy 6:5-9 and Joshua 1:8 indicate that no matter where we go or what we’re doing—at any time of day or night—we should continually ponder, discuss and obey God’s commands to enjoy a blessed and fulfilling life. We read in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 that we should never stop rejoicing, praying and giving thanks. Hebrews 10:25 indicates that we should not neglect assembling together for community worship, ministry, mutual encouragement. Also, Psalm 37:4 tells us to delight in the Lord and he will give us our heart’s desires—kind of an “if-then” thing. As you can see, in contrast to the life of a Sim, our spiritual need is constant; further, we’re given instructions on how to satisfy that need and remain in good fellowship with God.
Like Sims, if we had a gauge for how healthy our spiritual lives are, would it be in the green along with everything else, or would it be far down in the red and screaming for attention? There are obvious consequences for neglecting those other needs in our lives, but do we calculate the risk of letting our spirits go unattended for any length of time? As you get into The Sims, you cannot help but wonder why such a major thing like that was left out. The game can be loads of fun otherwise, but it makes you wonder how much of our own lives seems so fun and fulfilled, only to be becoming more like a Sim every day.