Tetris is such a classic video game… so relaxing when all you want to do is dump your brain into a bowl and not think. Same for another classic: Space Invaders.
I often stop for a good game of Tetris in my problem-solving moments when I need to look at something from a different angle/find a creative solution/re-energize my weary self. Life is fresh again after connecting all the tetrominoes in their proper rows and columns and I get a bazillion points because I made a TETRIS! (four rows that complete all-at-once with one block!) Tetris teaches some great life lessons too.
1. Sometimes there’s an unavoidable gap.
The trick is to fill it in the moment… but if you can’t, then what? Move on.
Ideally, there shouldn’t be a gap… especially in the first row. When that happens, immediately the adrenaline kicks in and the game is on. I will conquer the gap! I will eliminate all rows! But try as we might, sometimes life doesn’t work out so neatly. What should you do? Concentrate on the next rows… look for opportunities to build more Tetrises (Tetri??) from there on up.
In real life: Learn from the failures and let go… wait for hard answers to emerge from difficult questions… be who you are in the moment… let God work in your life without trying to fill all the gaps at once.
2. Be patient and earn big points!
Four rows that complete at the same time with one block form a Tetris! and earn you big points. So it’s a prudent strategy to be patient and build a stack that will collapse with one precise move of the game controller. Sometimes it’s more tricky than others but in this case waiting brings big rewards.
That’s pretty counter-cultural though… we tend to replace patience with strength… i.e., I can get just as many points because my fingers are like graceful ballerinas over the controller and I can push those buttons and maneuver those tetrominoes on the screen faster than anyone in the universe. BAM!
In real life: A little bit of patience can go a long way and relieve a lot of stress. A lot of life’s problems/anxieties/worries resolve easier when we don’t try to control every outcome… when we allow ourselves to rely more on other people, even more on God.
3. When you get really good, everything starts coming faster and faster.
Each new round of Tetris increases in skill level requiring the player to eliminate more and more rows of tetrominoes. The longer the game goes on, the more blocks that fall from Tetris heaven, the faster they fall, the quicker must be the brain and fingers of the gamer. The computer is trying to get you to *[*[ TOP OUT ]*]* meaning that you **DIE!** because the rows have stacked up so high they’re off the top of the screen. Then you have to start at Level 1 again. Such is the addiction of Tetris.
In real life: It’s a good sign when life starts throwing you hard balls one after the other. It means that you’re getting better at handling it all… that you’ve got a few things figured out… that you’re getting stronger and probably more faithful. It’s not always fun, mind you… but it’s a good thing.
Play a little Tetris today… on your game console or in your everyday life. I’m betting you’ll find something meaningful. Peace out!