Wordle and the Word

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

"Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law." 
Psalm 119:18 (NKJV)

The latest craze of the internet is Wordle. I'm sure you've observed your friends posting about it on social media. Wordle is a word-guessing game. Each player has to correctly guess the word of the day by selecting a random five-letter word. 

The game itself is not what's interesting to me but how my friends are talking about it. One friend, said, "it only takes five minutes a day. You can't play more than once." Others, talk about how challenging the game is. 

The inventor of the game told the New York Times, the game is designed to limit the amount of time people spend online gaming. 

“It’s something that encourages you to spend three minutes a day,” he said. “And that’s it. Like, it doesn’t want any more of your time than that.” 

I have no doubt this game will be a success. I agree that compared to other options, this particular game decreases the time people spend online. Those 3 minutes a day do add up. 

If you started playing Wordle on January 1 for 3 minutes a day, you will spend 1,095 minutes gaming. 18.25 hours of your year will be spent guessing a random word. Can you imagine spending almost an entire day in front of a screen gaming? 18 hours is longer than your workday. 3 minutes a day adds up and it never comes back to us.

I've been writing about the spiritual fight for your mind for years. The fight is intense. It is on purpose and it doesn't always appear to be evil.  

Moses wrote in Psalm 90:12, "teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." 

My friend, you can't get those 3 minutes a day back. You must proceed with wisdom when choosing to engage in a seemingly harmless online game. 

True wisdom comes from the word of God or simply put, the Bible. I believe that everything the word of God touches, changes. Even if all you have to invest is 3 minutes a day. 

The benefits of investing in 3 minutes a day in the Bible are eternal. Investing 3 minutes a day in gaming? You tell me. Personally, it makes my mind numb. It keeps me from accomplishing all the good things God called me to accomplish on earth. For me, it is a distraction. 

I'm sure some of you are calling for temperance. I agree with you. Too bad game designers and the psychologists that work to keep us glued to the internet are going for addiction, not for the God-given gift of self-control. The enemy of your soul doesn't play fair. He's out to steal, kill and destroy.

We need God to teach us to number our days. We need the word of God to completely control every area of our lives. Our screen habits included.

Remember when I told you that if you play Wordle for 3 minutes a day you will spend 18 hours of your life gaming? If you want to read the New Testament, it takes around 18 hours and 20 minutes. Which one of these choices will benefit you the most? I propose that the choice that will give you eternal benefits is the wise one. 

Just for fun, let me present you with some more numbers of eternal benefit. It takes around 70 hours and 40 minutes to read the Bible out loud. If you want to read the Old Testament, you will spend 52 hours and 20 minutes of your time. The longest book of the Bible, Psalms, can be read in just 4 hours and 28 minutes. I'm not sure about you but I've binged on a TV series longer than that (hello Lost!). 

While these are large numbers, you can break them down in smaller portions. My challenge this year is to read the entire Bible twice. When I read it once, I spend around 15 minutes of daily reading. How my life has been transformed in 15 minutes a day! 

I am not here to make you feel bad but to alert you of the possibilities ahead of you. I want to propose that this year, you can be wise about the use of your time. You can be a good steward of the 24 hours God so graciously gave you.

Instead of mimicking the screen habits of the culture, we can be the people God called us to be. We can submit our online habits to Him. We can commit to knowing God better as we open our Bibles for ourselves and say God, "Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law." 

Let it be so.