Faith & Fandom
Mario & Link: The Princess Is In Another Castle
I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent more time in my life pursuing Peach & Zelda than I have my own wife (probably not a statistic I should be proud of). I remember the first time I played Super Mario for the N.E.S., I was at my Uncle Moses’ house, and he had it, I saw him play, I asked what do you do and his answer was simple, “Find the princess, save her.” Even as a kid that appealed to my sense of nobility and purpose, so I made it my goal to in fact save her. Every time I got to a -4 castle and toad said she wasn’t there, I got a little frustrated, but I knew she needed my help. A few months later, I remember sitting in the back of my mom’s hatchback riding home from ToysR’us. Opening The Legend Of Zelda, holding that gold cartridge in awe and wonder, there was nothing cooler, and then once again, I’m searching for a princess to save. Lo and behold, Zelda was harder to find than Peach, most of Links quests were open world and you could spend hours trudging through dungeons, and then sometimes you had
to do the same dungeons twice. Links foes were a lot tougher than just jumping on their heads, and you actually had to get items, use maps, and buy junk.
The struggle was real, but I did it. Zelda and Peach were safe. All was well. Then out of nowhere....Super Mario Bros 3....Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past. The princesses needed saving again. My little elementary school heart was broken, all the great deeds I had accomplished in the Mushroom Kingdom and in Hyrule were null in void. It didn’t just end there. Every couple of years it is the same thing, a never ending cycle.
“As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness.” – Proverbs 26:11
Then I realized something, I’m grateful these crazy crown wearing ladies are prone to abduction, because then I get to go on these adventures again, to be a hero, to go on the journey. Think about if once you saved the princess once, you never played a Mario or Zelda game again (and by the way, we always call them Zelda games, Link gets short changed, for real). There is joy in the pursuit, meaning, and purpose. We are never meant to be stationary. In fact in the most recent epic Zelda game (Skyward Sword) you learn that they are stuck in a constant cycle of this pursuit and protection, over and over. Think of how dull and meaningless life is without something to pursue. Any husband or wife will tell you there comes a point in their marriage where it feels like it’s not going anywhere, and that’s because we stop pursuing each other. Be grateful. Even more so than just seeking our spouses we are built and made to seek after our creator, to fellowship, and to worship.
You know what Deuteronomy 4:29, Proverbs 8:17, Jeremiah 29:12-14, Lamentations 3:25, Matthew 6:33, Psalm 119:10, Psalm 34:10, Hebrews 11:6, and a billion other verses have in common? That we are to seek God, continually.
That it’s not something we ever stop doing, as long as there is breath in our lungs, we need to seek Him. Isaiah 55:6-7 “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” More than likely though, we get to a point in our lives where we feel like we “found” God, and we stop looking. That we have accomplished all that we need to, that our faith is sufficient, but we are fooling ourselves.
At least with Mario and Link, they get these big notifications that their pursuit is ongoing. Bowser flies in with some inverted helicopter, smiley face, tea cup thing (You’re a fire-breathing monster with horns, a shell covered in spikes, and claws. Do you really think a flying tea cup is the direction you want to take?), and flaunts that he has taken Peach. Gannon isn’t much more subtle for that matter. I’m grateful for the spirit of God, for music, for fellowship, for hardships, for people who share the Word of God, and all the other things that remind us to continually pursue.
So let this be a reminder, “Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!” -1 Chronicles 16:11
In addition, I think we will find too, that so often we seek after something in our lives that we think will bring us satisfaction, then we get it, and we find out we are still lacking contentment. We get the beautiful wife, still missing something. Great job that pays well, still missing something. I can literally picture walking in my house after a long day and there be a little mushroom man sitting on my couch and be like “Sorry Hector, but contentment is in another castle.” I truly believe that only when we seek God, can we find that contentment we so long for. Jesus made it clear, seeking God will bring us what we need, that we will have what truly fills our souls, and in the process God will take care of the rest. “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.” Matthew 6:33
“Trust in the LORD and do what is good; dwell in the land and live securely. Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you your heart’s desires. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him, and He will act,” Psalm 37:3-5.
The next time you go goomba stomping or don a sword and shield, keep in mind that the pursuit is important, and it doesn’t matter how many times you find a princess, unless we are seeking after God, it’s still gonna end in with us going from castle to castle for the rest of our lives, searching for something that completes us.