Fable 3: That You And Your Descendants May Live
Fable 3 is a game that I can truly say changed my life. Few games do that. This one actually affected me emotionally long after the controller was down. Fable 3 was the first game ever played where my choices truly made a difference. The outcome truly depended on who I was at my core. At the very heart of the game you are an upcoming ruler, you fight injustice, you make promises, commitments, and strive to become a person of virtue. Then, when you are put on the throne you are faced with these impossible odds and you have to choose to either be the person you wanted to be or let yourself become someone entirely different. I played the game through 2 times completely, separated by a couple of years. I was bound and determined to be a person of integrity when I played the game; this was also amplified by the fact that all of your choices were broadcast to everyone of your friends online.
As I’m playing I would see “Scott Carpenter has contracted 3 Std’s”, or “Nick Pender has committed 4 counts of murder.” In the back of my mind I thought, “I can’t let my digital shenanigans be a stumbling block to the people in my real life.” So between my own integrity and the unwanted digital accountability, I went the path of righteousness.
I honored every promise I made, I chose fidelity, I chose virtue over vice, and I chose to be a man I would be able to respect. In Deuteronomy 30, Moses lays it out really clearly “16 For I am commanding you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commands, statutes, and ordinances, so that you may live and multiply, and the LORD your God may bless you in the land you are entering to possess.” God tells us that if we live the way He instructs us,
that we will be blessed (blessed by God’s Standards, not the world’s, this isn’t the sci-fi prosperity Gospel).
By living by those convictions, literally everyone in my kingdom died. I mean everyone but me. This wasn’t like just a statement, the world still carried on, as you walked through your kingdom the bodies of your subjects just laid there in the streets. You beat a game a game and you are supposed to feel accomplishment; instead I walked through the streets of my own consequences, haunted by the remains of my choices. I was pretty affected by it. So effected by it, I wrote a blog about it. Then a student of mine was upset I played video games and wrote a blog about it. So she went to my senior pastor and shared her concern I wasn’t fit to be a pastor (but that’s a chapter in my next book “The Stupid Lessons I Learned In Student Ministry,” available where all non-existent books are sold). So I put Fable 3 behind me, but then in the fall of 2013 XBOX began its “Games With Gold” program. When Fable 3 became a free game, I decided to take another crack at it.
This go round I decided to play the villain. I broke every promise I made, I made horrible choices, and I let an orphanage be shut down to make room for a brothel, I pretty much did everything the opposite of the first go round. Surprisingly enough, everyone lived. The streets and cities were full of very alive people. The flipside though is that everyone I loved or cared about disowned me, I was feared, hated, and despised, and became a worse ruler than the guy I overthrew to start this fiasco. My actions were so evil that my face became physically scarred and people literally were petrified at the sight of me. I had saved every single person, but I lost myself.
Moses hit’s this up in Deuteronomy 30 too. “17 But if your heart turns away and you do not listen and you are led astray to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I tell you today that you will certainly perish and will not live long in the
land you are entering to possess across the Jordan.” We are told that if we make poor choices, we should expect a destructive outcome. Thank God this is only the world of Fable, and not the real world. When we pursue God and obey, we find peace, rest, & blessing. When we walk away from the path He has laid out for us, we walk in destruction; these things have been pretty constant through history. There is a valuable lesson we can take from the consequences of Fable. Our choices, whether good or bad don’t remain with us. They go on for generations. Again in Deuteronomy 30 Moses drops this on us. “I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live.”
True your actions probably won’t result in walking through corpse lined streets, statues being erected, or evil dark creatures possessing everyone you love and killing them, but they will be something you and the rest of the people in your life live with. The decisions I make now, will affect my daughters for years to come. The way I lead now ill affect my college students and in turn the areas of the world touched by their lives. Every way I compromise, every short cut I take, every time I willingly rebel against God, I bring that much more destruction into the lives of the people I touch. The same goes for the blessings, I know in my life I reap the blessings of having a Godly grandmother, an amazing wife, pastors who have poured into, and people that love God. We spend so much time saving money, teaching kids to read, potty training, disciplining, and all the other things that accompany being a parent, but the best thing we could do for our children and for our families, is simply to love God and to follow Him.
As Moses puts it “11 “This command that I give you
today is certainly not too difficult or beyond your reach. 12 It is not in heaven so that you have to ask, ‘Who will go up to heaven, get it for us, and proclaim it to us so that we may follow it?’ 13 And it is not across the sea so that you have to ask, ‘Who will cross the sea, get it for us, and proclaim it to us so that we may follow it?’ 14 But the message is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, so that you may follow it.”
The concept is simple, to have the fullest life for ourselves, and to invest the most into future of our loved ones, just love God and follow Him. You don’t need to wait for Doctor Phil to tell you this. Also it’s unlikely that when these choices occur you are going to have two clearly opposing sides stand before you and present their case as in Fable. No, these choices will often be made by us alone, in the solitude of our heart. Choose life, that you and your descendants may live.