ImageA couple of decades ago I got a new computer.  One of the preinstalled programs was a game based on the arcade game “Dig Dug.”  It was basically a miner trying to dig tunnels without them collapsing on him or being caught by the monsters that roamed the tunnels.  By today’s standards this game may seem boring, but back then it got my heart rate up trying to survive the self-made maze.

One problem with video games is that real life is happening all around.  There are times when you just have to stop the game to answer the phone, talk face-to-face to someone, or sit down to dinner.  I can’t recall why I was called away from the game, but I remember needing to shut it off for some reason.  I hit the “Escape” key on the keyboard only to see an ominous message appear: “There is no escape.”

Do you ever wish life had an Escape key?  When the burdens of everyday life get overwhelming, it sure would be nice to escape those burdens … at least for a while.  Life is full of stress, challenges, criticism, and problems.  Since we don’t have a shortcut to escape these, we need to figure out a way to cope with the difficulties of life.  As a Christian I have discovered three practices that help me cope.

First, develop a habit of spending time with God daily.  Spending time with the Lord has a way of refocusing life and helping us redefine our priorities.

Second, take the Sabbath day seriously.  God created us to work, but He also created us for rest.  It is not an Escape key but it does act as a Pause key.

Third, rely on your fellow believers.  Even the Lone Ranger had Tonto. You need your Christian brothers and sisters to help bear the oppressing burdens.  Ask for prayer.  Share your challenges with a trusted friend.  It does not remove the burdens, but it does lighten the load.

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