by Nick Tucker – Associate Pastor – Youth and Worship
One of my favorite hobbies is playing video games. It was one of those things I picked up at a super young age, and still play a ton of it today! There are so many games out there, from sports games, to fighting games, first person shooters, platformers, story games, role playing games, and more, but my favorite at the moment is a game called Valorant.
Valorant is a first person, tactical shooter. The game is 5 vs. 5, one team is attacking, and the other is defending. The whole premise is to either plant/defuse the bomb, or eliminate all the opposing players, but what makes this game intense is that if you die in the game, there is a huge gap in your team and it gets significantly harder. This promotes teamwork and there are many ways which you can build a team.
I bring this up and I write about this, because I think there are similar things, we can take away from a video game, and apply to our faith journey! We all have goals and objectives in our life, and, when you get a well-oiled team of people around you to help accomplish those goals, it becomes much easier! In our faith journey, it is so important for us to walk with a team of people with one common goal in mind. For us at Covenant Grove, that is to transform religious and irreligious people into fully devoted followers of Christ.
For Valorant, in selecting your team, everyone selects a specific agent they would like to play as for that game. Each agent has different abilities and pieces of utility to help support or help accomplish the objective. There are different roles and each role has a specific job within the team structure. There are Duelists, who specialize in going into spaces first. They have utility that helps create space to move into. There are Initiators, who specialize in setting up the Duelists for optimal fights. They have utility that helps to initiate fights on their terms. There are Controllers who are responsible for smoking off important angles to isolate other angles for your team. And there are Sentinels who are defensive powerhouses and are also great at keeping control of an area once secured.
Just in reading these brief descriptions of the different roles in Valorant, I’m sure you can see why selecting your team carefully is important! If there was just a team of Duelists, it would be incredibly hard to keep control of any area that the team just cleared out! If a team of Sentinels, you’d have a rough time even getting into areas to secure and lock them down.
I think the same is true for us in our faith journey! If we get a bunch of people around us that think exactly like us and have the same exact skillset as us, life is going to be tough when the scenario changes. Sure, you can be rockin’ and having a great time when everyone is going through something that everyone is skilled at, but once something else is thrown your way, it gets REALLY hard!
Check out what the Bible has to say about this in Proverbs 12:26 (NIV) “The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.”
Choosing your friends and your ‘team’ is a righteous thing to do! It makes sense! This is why community matters so much and why mentorship matters! We are called to bear one another’s burdens in Galatians 6:2. And so I encourage you to select your ‘team’ carefully! Be picky in who you choose!
One more thing that I find interesting though. Valorant is a word made up of two roots: ‘valor’ and ‘-ant’ and here’s what they mean. Valor is “boldness or determination in facing great danger, especially in battle; heroic courage; bravery. The latin root ‘-ant’ means “implying an act or condition of.” So together, Valorant means: Implying an act of boldness or determination in facing great danger, especially in battle; heroic courage; bravery.
Spiritual warfare is real and is a battle that we must face with boldness and determination! But the best way to go into battle is together. The best way for us to get through tough times and struggles, is with people around us. With a ‘team’ of people who are all supporting one another, with one objective in mind. So be Valorant in your faith! Get a team of people around you who you can boldly stand next to knowing that they’ve got your back, and you have theirs.