Not many games get the opportunity to have a THIRD life, but of all the games that deserve this chance to breathe again Shadow of the Colossus is certainly one of the most deserving. Beloved for its low-key telling of an incredibly personal story that involves almost zero dialogue and copious amounts of moody atmosphere, the fact that this game every existed once is a miracle in and of itself. Originally released on the PS2, Shadow did not fit into any easily characterized “genre” specification. It’s not really an action game per se, but one could hardly call a game with such limited exposition a story-driven title. It is partially an adventure game, but devoid of all of the item collecting that typically populates such titles. It is truly a swan among ducks, not quite fitting into any particular box yet resonating in such a way that it occupies a space all of its own.
That such a unique beast could exist was incredible, but then the powers that be granted it a resurrection of sorts on the PS3 to reach an entirely new audience in a remastered form. Updated graphics, textures, and cleaned up animations took this title to new heights as it finally appeared to encompass the creators original vision. But this game had one more trick up its sleeve… Sony continued to believe in this title and felt it still had not reached its full potential. It still had an untapped audience who had not yet discovered its grandeur, but a simple re-release was not enough. The game was REMADE from the ground up… the same concept, story and gameplay conceits but still a completely new creation by a whole new group of creators. And now it sits on shelves at your favorite neighborhood gaming store, waiting for you to either discover it or “re-discover” it and the journey it has been waiting to take you on.
Most Christians and non-Christians alike are familiar with the idea of being “born again”. Jesus shared this concept and blew the minds of the religious leaders of His day with the idea that one needed to be “remade” in order to see the Kingdom of God. At the time, it was considered enough to merely follow the rules and do your best to be pleasing to God in whatever way you could. To be “born again”? It sounded a little bit sci-fi… and it definitely threw organized religion out in favor of an experience that did not require a lengthy membership statement to join.
But there is a substantial difference between a “remaster” and a “remake”. I have experienced this myself in my own life as I spent many of my first 30 years of life in a church-like life trying to be a “remastered” Christ follower. I was still the same person by and large, just “sanitized”. Scrubbed down, a little cleaner around the edges… but underneath I was simply a more restrained version of my original self. I read the Bible a lot, prayed more often, and built my life around church activities. And for a while I was not only able to convince others but also myself that I was a new creation. On occasion the whispers of the old life would get loud enough to distract me from my desired path, but as a whole I adhered to a lifestyle that seemed to meet the criteria of being “born again”
What I missed was that I was not in need of a remaster, but a “REMAKE”. All the original parts had to be removed and replaced with superior technology to provide the full experience that was originally in my Creator’s mind. I am not sure if you feel the same way, but this path can be much more frustrating because my repeated failures cause me to challenge whether I am actually on the right path. But in 2 Cor. 13 Paul enlightens us on what the life of one undergoing the “remake” looks like:
2 Cor 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
I hope you caught it here. If not, let me point it out for you. It does not say that we WERE transformed (past tense), but rather that we are BEING transformed (present tense). It is not a one time act in which we become all we were ever meant to be… it is a voyage that we will under-take over the course of our entire existence on this planet. As we look to the Lord we are constantly compelled to become ever more like Him, and by spending time in His presence through prayer, Bible reading or worship we are on a continual path of being remade into His perfect design for us.
It would be nice if this was as simple as a fresh coat of paint, but His work takes place from the inside out and will take time. Be patient with the process and understand that as you spend time with Him and draw near you will see the progress from remaster to remake occur in your heart, and this will reveal itself in your life. And the best part about this is that just like the Shadow of the Colossus… you are still YOU. You are simply the best version of you… the one that He created you to be. The one that can accomplish His purposes for your life.
Know that the work you will do for Him will take place ALONG the journey, not just at the end of it. You will not be fully remade before He starts to use you. In truth, it is the vulnerable and wounded version of you that may reach others along your way. But as you are being remade others will be compelled to join this journey with you as we are all being transformed by His Spirit to be more like Him. So don’t be disappointed if your “born again” experience didn’t quite remake you the way that you had hoped. This is a life-long remastering project, and you are safe in the Potter’s hands.