The only Zelda I knew as a child was F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife. Although I’m not really into video games, I understand many people love The Legend of Zelda (not Fitzgerald.)
In the third grade we moved to a neighborhood that – from the sky – would have looked like a boxy number 8. There were two loops each with four sides with a forest in the middle of each loop. This means that everyone’s backyard had a couple acres of woods behind their house.
One day while wandering in the woods behind our home I discovered an abandoned log cabin. I had discovered it. (The Doctrine of Discovery was already deeply embedded in my Western Christian psyche.) I was going to be an explorer because – obviously – I had a knack for discovering things.
Subsequently, my third grade birthday party had an Explorers’ Theme and – with my friends and homemade treasure maps – we “discovered” the cabin again and sat out there and made up stories about who built it and where we might put a sofa.
We still need explorers and discoverers, but not the kind who claim cabins and lands that actually belong to other people. We need storytellers who spark our imagination. We need curious people, artists, and dreamers.
Although Jesus didn’t say it, I believe that the kingdom of God is like a treasure hunt full of wonder and surprises and beauty. I imagine Jesus weeping over the dearth of wonder among his followers. I imagine Jesus slapping palm to face over those of us who are satisfied with the plain, the lifeless and the irrelevant. The Architect of all creation who designed The Victor Hugo Rose and peacock feathers and electric blue coral and the human vena cava and the beautiful brain of Shigeru Miyamoto must wonder why we squander our own God-given creativity.
If one more person suggests we try a bake sale fundraiser, I think I might lose it. We can do better.
God created us to grapple with ideas and try out new paths and be curious. But we have become People Who Settle for less. We elect political and religious leaders who are not passionate about How The World God Made Can Be Different. Instead we choose People With Pulses or People with Money. Instead of finding questions to be thrilling opportunities to get to know God better, we fear failure.
I thank God today for Shigeru Miyamoto – the 70 year old creator of The Legend of Zelda and other games that our children and grandchildren have grown up on. He has been named – officially – “A Creative Fellow” (2015) and A Person of Cultural Merit (2019). I have no idea what his spiritual life is like. But I have no doubt that God rejoices in how Mr. Miyamoto has used his gifts.
This is a lovely article about The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. We need more “curiosity-rewarding” and less rote. Or as the articles writer offers – as a hope for his own child:
May we “remember this — the feeling of a world that feels lifted, not collapsed; conquerable, not corrupted; joyful, not terrifying.”
There is a kingdom, a kindom, a reign of God that is beyond our wildest imagination. And it’s very good. Alleluia.