You can’t help but notice lately there are strange people walking and riding all over Logan totally fixated on their cell phones. Nothing can stop them, not rain, hot days of summer, no matter what time of the day, no matter the expense, nothing. They are like zombies marching on to gain control of some kind of animalian creatures called Pokemon.
What is a Pokémon? A Pokémon (short for pocket monster) is a little animalian creature. There are many, many types and at last count there appears to be 151 of them. It’s best to think of them like different species and breeds of animals. When someone is catching Pokémon in Pokémon GO, the general aim is to get as many different kinds as possible.
The most well-known Pokémon is Pikachu, who you will surely recognize regardless of how out-of-the-loop you are.
Here’s the important part: To get more Pokéballs, you walk to different “Pokéstops.”
Pokéstops are usually at interesting places around your city or community. Let’s say you were walking down Cole Street. You will find two Pokéstops at the Nighbert Memorial Church, one is the building and the other is the “Feeding the 5000” mural on the Fellowship Hall.
The ideal gameplay strategy is to walk around, trying to cover a lot of ground to get to different Pokéstops and come across different Pokémon who might be hiding in your path.
Well, the Pokémon GO creators have been overwhelmed with people using their software app and they want more and more.
At the Nighbert Church, we see Pokémon GO adventurers constantly. They have a deep passion and determination to capture all the Pokémon characters as they are rewarded by advancing to higher Levels.
As I spoke with one adventurer in her late 30’s or early 40’s, I was impressed with what she had to say. She related to me that this was a great way to spend time with her family and friends even though she was by herself at the time. It was hard to come by some good clean fun and this was exciting to play. She would come by the church just about every day because the Pokéstops renew themselves every 5 minutes so if you hang around, you can get extra Pokéballs. She told me that the other night; they were out until 4:00 AM tracking down Pokéballs and Pokémon.
Here’s what stuck with me the most, she told me that the Nighbert parking lot “cement parking lot car stopper” was her seat. This is where she would wait for this stop to renew itself. She said, “somehow I feel closer to God” here at this church sitting on this hard cement car stop.
Wow, Wow, Wow!
What passion these Pokemon adventurers have, if only we Christians could demonstrate such Passion for Christ.
Not worry about time! The sermon is too long.
Not worry about the temperature! It’s too hot; it’s too cold in the sanctuary.
Not worry about the pews! The seats are too hard and uncomfortable.
Not worry about the expense! I give what I can; nothing more, that’s all the church cares about.
Not worry about being involved! I will do what I feel like doing, nothing more.
Pokémon passion can be contagious. Let’s focus our passion on Christ. We as Christians can learn a lesson that our passion for Christ should be our greatest passion.
So, how’s your passion? Are you on fire for God or just lukewarm? Are you filled with excitement and purpose or just going through the motions? Today’s the day to begin pursuing an increase in passion. God is filled with so much passion for us that He deserves nothing less than whole-hearted passion from us.
Rev. Thomas Beckette is pastor of Nighbert Memorial United Methodist Church and a member of the Logan Ministerial Association.