In a very short time the new augmented reality game Pokemon Go has gotten people off their couches more than a Fitbit has in months. But is it here today and gone tomorrow?
We live in an age of fast paced information and short attention spans. Or do we? Perhaps it’s symptomatic behavior, after all we only give our attention to things that really matter to us. That is a double edged sword if I think about how much time I might spend on my phone in a given day versus how much time I spend with my children. About 90% of adults who have downloaded the game are Millennials. Studies show that Millennials are very loyal to values and that if their job doesn’t fit their values, they will look for one that does. Which leads me to believe that this generation is looking for something with purpose and meaning.
Over the last month the Pokemon craze has seen a drop off of around 20% in the US. While that still leaves a lot of serious players, 20% is still a significant number to go unnoticed. Imagine if your house or car payment dropped by that much? While I try a lot of apps, I have to ask myself why so many people have stopped playing Pokemon Go. Perhaps they didn’t find any meaning in the game?
A Forbes opinion article summarizes it well indicating that Pokemon Go really has no endgame. In short, what’s the point? And isn’t that really one of the great questions of life that people struggle with?
I look at the phenomenon this app has created and taking a step back I try to look at the big picture with a bit of irony. Here a computerized interaction that interfaces with reality (which some are trying to escape) is getting people up and moving. And they are mapping their way to find something that doesn’t really exist. But while interfacing with reality some are oblivious to their surroundings, even to the point of making trips to the ER. To many these searchers, though they have a map and a they are looking for something, they appear to be lost.
For the Christian, there are many wandering without an endgame, without purpose. And while they are diligent in their search, they are lost. They hunger and thirst, but their satisfaction is not filled because they have not found Christ. These poor souls are getting injured because their foe walks about seeking whom he may devour.
Jesus commissioned his followers with purpose.
Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. Matt. 22:9
We have a mission to seek those who are lost and to help them find what they are really looking for in Christ.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Matt. 28:19
Pokemon Go users have spent an average of 26 minutes per day playing the game to date. If that pace continues, that’s nearly 3 hours invested per week, 12 hours per month or 144 hours per year (which is nearly 2 and a half days). So in 12 years, one would have spent a month playing Pokemon Go. That’s a pretty big time investment into your life.
It is time to get up off the couch, and it is time to go. But not to look for little creatures you can collect and fight with, but rather to save those who are in peril and train them to be disciples of the Master.
Let us claim the promise of Matthew 7:7
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
Ask for God to give us opportunities that we may influence people to make decisions for Him.
It’s time to get out of our comfort zone and look for those who are lost, God will help us find them. When we pray for those opportunities, those doors will be opened.
Time is short. Fulfill the purpose that God has put on your heart.
Are you ready? Get set. Go!