Ski Free

How many of you remember playing the early Windows computer game called “Ski Free?”  Those of you who have been using computers since the early 1990’s and Windows 3.1 will probably remember the game.

The object of Ski Free was to ski downhill, do jumps and tricks, and avoid obstacles along the way.  However, no matter how well you could ski, at the end of your run, an abominable snowman would chase you down and eat you.  You couldn’t escape it.  No matter what you did, the abominable snowman would overtake you and gobble you up.

That fact has caused me to wonder why the game was given such an incongruous name – “Ski Free?”  Are you kidding me?  What’s free about skiing down a mountain if you must forfeit your life at the bottom of the run?

While I haven’t played “Ski Free” in a long time, there are many people who play it on a daily basis.  Oh, I’m not talking about the computer game, I’m talking about playing “life games” that have inevitable costly outcomes.  Want an example?  How about people who go through life playing the games of “bitterness,” “anger,” and “revenge?”  Where does that get them in the end?  I’ll tell you – at the bottom of the “Ski Free Slopes.”

Listen to what the apostle Paul said, “But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!” (Galatians 5:15).  Friends, there’s no winner when one plays the games of “bitterness,” “anger,” and “revenge.”  No matter how good one gets at being able to “put one in his/her place,” or “get even,” those “games” always have the same outcome.

On second glance, “Ski Free” (or maybe a better name would have been “Ski Fee”) wasn’t really free at all; it was costly and the one who played it paid with his life in the end.  Do I need to finish the “Likewise…?”  Give it some thought.

(P.S. – I want to thank Lee Parish, a student at the Southeast Institute of Biblical Studies, for an illustration he made about the computer game, Pac-Man.  His comments prompted me to write this article).

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