“[1]Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. [2]Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. [3]For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. [4]And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. [5]So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you” (Colossians 3:1-5).

Growing up my cousins and I played Nintendo every chance we got. My favorite wasn’t “Mario Bros.” or “RBI” or even “Contra.” All of those were fun but one game ruled all in my mind. I can even still remember the secret code where if I could press the right buttons in the right amount of time during boot-up then an extra hidden level would appear. The game? “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” I was 9 or ten years old and that same year, 1989 we even found ourselves nearly convinced that Mutant Ninja Turtles prooooobably lived in the sewers under the New York City streets. And there must have been some incredible investigative journalism to discover them down there. It’s funny because I remember entertaining the notion at the time that the most unbelievable part of the story was the villain: The Shredder… who ironically was just a regular dude dressed up in some kind of martial arts death gear or something. That suit of armor did the job because he was formidable and killed me over and over with his sharp gauntlets until my hands would sweat and cramp and I’d resort to doing what all good gamers did: hit the reset button.

I sure wish life had a built-in reset button. If it did I would have used it to go back and NOT kiss that girl from down the street just because, in all honesty she was the first girl I remember that wasn’t family—and I wasn’t Luke Skywalker so kissing family was out of the question. The problem I had at that age is the same problem I that still recurs from time to time to this day (no, not kissing a random girl): selfishness brought on by my gaze being way to fixed on what feels good, comfortable or exciting. All too often my gaze falls much too short of heaven. I imagine that if you, too searched your heart and were honest that you’d share in my retroactive frustration. And there’s just no reset button of any kind that we can push to give ourselves another shot at defeating those ‘shredders’ of regret from the past.

We can, however help one another in making changes in the way we live and first we have to help each other recognize where the enemy is hiding—where his lair is. This part of the truth is even more terrifying than a 6 foot shredder-villain (or a Giant teenage turtle that can talk for that matter).

Deep down inside of each of us we house a lair for sin that rises up and defeats us from within and this is why hitting the reset button won’t work… because no matter how much I hit ‘reset’ I’m still playing the same game. I play it over and over because I don’t have the power to change the essence of the game. In order for that to happen my gaze needs to rise toward heaven to embrace the one and only hero who can change the essence of the game to give me that code to unlock the secret level that can change everything. And in the end He not only changes the rules of the game, He is the transformer of our hearts who makes *us* something new entirely—to the point that we can sit at the feet of the very one of heaven from whom we can never remove our gaze, for His glory and into eternity! In Him and by His power we can walk together toward everlasting glory! This is the new game with new stakes for today. And now the reality is we do have a sort of reset button. Not a reset button in the sense that one throws us back into the deep end of making new mistakes all over again. Christ Jesus IS our reset button… He is our retroactive shadow-gamer who wins where we lost and he not only does so in our past mistakes, and he’s also the secret code that transforms our present and future realities to that of an an eternal overcomer in us who seeks glory for the one and only God that deserves it.

Now it’s time for our last reset together to begin living the life of the overcomer who is already at work in and for us:

“B-A-B-A-Up-Down-B-A Left-Right-B-A… START!!!”