The Candy Within: The Dark Side of Viva Pinata (Psalm 51)

I just couldn’t do it.  I knew it was the only way to move forward.  The game’s progress was contingent upon my willingness to make a sacrifice that I simply couldn’t bring myself to make.  The cost was just too great and as I looked in the eyes of little “Wormie”, despite what the game required, I chose to decline the choice presented to me and instead opted to simply stop playing.  These statements may need some context… allow me to explain.

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Viva Pinata appears to be a cheerful, family friendly gardening simulator.  “APPEARS” is the operative word in that sentence.  You start out with a small, humble plot of land to begin your garden and the first inhabitant of your little slice of heaven is a simple little worm.  It lacks color, has no home, and is pretty easy to convince to stay.  He has pretty low expectations, being a worm and all.  As you progress you can build your little worm a home so he can convince a second worm to build a life together with him in your cheerful little homestead.  You can name them, dress them with cute little scarves, and eventually the worms will do what two little worms are gonna do.  Next thing you know, you have a whole happy family of worms living together in your garden paradise.  So far so good, right?

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Unfortunately, this is not what the game considers progression.  Inside each of your little pinatas lies something very important… CANDY.  I know, that comes as a surprise.  But in order to access said candy, the pinata has to be “broken”.  And that is a more violent process than I was prepared to endure.  To get another type of pinata to come and stay in your garden, they will first need to eat a pinata that currently lives there.  For example, the bird will need to eat a worm.  And my worms had not been bred for being eaten.  They were a family with their little names and outfits and such.  But to get to the next stage of the game, I would have to accept that a moment of becoming “broken” was the price of admission.

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In Psalm 51 you can find the prayer of David after his moral failure with Bathsheba.  David is very direct with his words and paints a very visceral picture of this concept of “brokenness”.

Psalm 51: 16-17: For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise.

David had to endure a season of becoming “broken” to advance to the next level with the Lord.  Now his was due to a sin he had committed, but as we will find this is not the only reason we encounter times of being broken in our walk with God.  Indeed, the act of being broken is a prerequisite to the final stages of fulfilling one’s destiny in multiple occasions.  Job exhibited exceptional brokenness as he cried out to the Lord in his suffering through his many trials.   Prophets such as Elijah, Jeremiah, and Isaiah each faced painful broken periods in which they asked for death, release, or at least a reprieve from the journey they were on.  But the fruit would only be exposed once they had been broken on the potter’s wheel.  Now I know what you are thinking…  how about one more for the road?

Asked and answered.  The most famous and well-known case of brokenness comes to us from our Lord and Savior Himself, the man Christ Jesus.  In a verse that is typically utilized in every instance of partaking Communion, we read how His body was BROKEN for us as a means of saving us:

1 Cor: 11:23-26 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.

Brokenness is not only the path… it is the destination.  It is where Jesus fulfilled his destiny and accomplished His purpose on this earth.  And no matter how you got to where you are now, through sin or obedience, it is the path to and THROUGH the broken place that the critical parts of you that are inside are broken and spilled out in a way that brings others to the garden.  Fortunately for all of us, our Heavenly Father loves us enough to lead us through the valley of the shadow of death.  He knows not only what we can endure, but He knows our true breaking point and what reaching that point will yield.  And He gathers exactly who will need the unique “candy” that our brokenness will generate to be there at the perfect time in our lives.  So don’t hide from the stick that breaks your pinata open… endure.  It is at the apex of your shatter point that you can truly feed those around you in need.

 

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