Secret Chords

Day 2 of Hack4Missions started off with just as much excitement as the first. My teammates and I showed up early – so early, in fact, that we had to go find someone to unlock the door for us. We were eager, amped, and ready to go.

You can imagine my disappointment, then, when reality set in over the next few hours. Video games are really difficult to make. Especially first-person 3D games built with a team of 15 or so in just two afternoons. Throughout our work sessions, the planned scope of the final project kept decreasing. What began as a dramatic storyline and a fast-paced survival game over multiple levels turned into a simple demoable concept level and finally into a short trailer and a few seconds of recorded gameplay. My own contribution, which I had initially planned to include a wide array of beautiful 3D models, devolved into the creation of a small pile of rubble (literally) and a few Maya and Unity3D troubleshooting hacks. With the clock bearing down on us, I was growing more and more frustrated. The breaking point for me came when several members of the Hack4Missions prayer team entered our room and offered to pray for us, and my response was simply more frustration. I realized then that my mind and heart were in completely the wrong place.

I was reminded of an experience I had while helping with the worship band at an InterVarsity retreat a few years ago. The worship set list included about 20 songs, which was a lot for a young musician like me to handle and my performance was suffering as a result. After one particularly rough song, I began berating myself for hitting the wrong notes, even while the worship leader began to pray. Suddenly, in the midst of my frustration, I had the unmistakable feeling that God could not care less about how accurate my fingers were. He was worshipped not through the beauty of my music – something He had created and something that He could outshine a million to one with just a thought – but through the state of my heart as I came forward to worship Him. Yes, the music is important, but only as a vehicle for the worship of my Creator.

I realized, with my hands folded over my laptop as the prayer team continued to pray, that Hack4Missions is nothing but another way to worship the living God. Yes, it would be amazing if we could actually turn out a working game for missions that really did make a positive impact. But even more important was that as we worked with our hands, we did so with the intention of giving all the glory to Him.

Once again, I’m sitting in the America’s Center lobby, posting this update right before the final morning session. Our teams will go onstage at the Ferrara Theater at 2pm today to showcase our final project. I can’t say that I spent the whole of our hackathon focusing on my God and worshiping Him. But today, as we enter the spotlight and take center stage, I’ll be doing it for the glory of God.

Colossians 3:17: And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.

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