The Food Bank recently held 'Go Day,' which is our annual fiscal year kickoff/team building day. A group of us took the opportunity to try an escape room.
I'd never done one before. Ten of us chose to do the room called "Cabin in the Woods." The room itself told the story of a serial killer who had locked us in the cabin where he had killed numerous other victims. We had one hour to figure out the clues and escape before he came back to finish us off.
Periodically, someone banged on the walls trying to scare us. It worked. We remembered about 30 minutes in that we could ask for up to three clues from the staff member observing our progress. We had to look up at the camera in the corner of the room and shout, "Help us Valerie, help us, we're scared!" All of us had to do it together or she wouldn't give us a clue.
A majority of the puzzles involved figuring out the combinations of various locks that hid the next set of clues. I was pretty useless at first, but I figured out a couple of the puzzles near the end of the game. I found the key that let me unlock the final "escape" button.
We were the first of the three teams of coworkers to escape. Our team was also the only team that managed to escape in time. The other two teams got close but ran out of time and the cops/killer got them (one team was trying to pull off a bank heist).
A metaphor for Christian Life.
Afterward, I thought to myself, what an amazing metaphor for Christian life! Instead of just being a set of rules that (hopefully) make us nicer, the Gospel is the roadmap to escape the kingdom of death.
The stakes are as urgent as a serial killer coming back to put you on the barbecue. The devil was a murderer from the beginning. And he's coming for each of us. The timeline is longer, potentially. We have our whole life to escape, but who knows if he will live a single hour longer? It's just not a given.
Temptations are the locks and puzzles that prevent us from moving one step closer to freedom. The clues to our escape are found in Scripture, the teachings of the Church, and the natural law. To escape, we have to learn to be truly human according to God's plan for us, and even more. We have to follow the path that leads us to our escape. And we must act with as much speed as possible.
The devil does try to scare us and throw up roadblocks to keep us from focusing on our goal of escape. He knows that fear and suffering tend to make us stupid and overreactive. We can even forget that we have a direct line to the Man upstairs, who will help us if we only turn our eyes to Him and ask for help. Jesus wants us to escape, and His incarnation created the path that we can follow to freedom.
Sadly, as Jesus said, "Narrow is the way that leads to life, and few are the ones that follow it." Even as 2/3 of the staff didn't make it out "alive," this world ensnares more people than we can possibly imagine.
A Call to Urgency
One of the chief dangers of being a Christian in the modern world is a kind of ho-hum laziness that assumes that pretty much everybody goes to heaven except cannibals. "As long as they don't eat people, they should probably be fine," the thinking goes.
But it's not true. No one enters the kingdom of heaven unless they are baptized in water and the Spirit. This "no one" includes a solid majority of the world population at this time. This is not something that should make any Christian happy. God's desire is that all should come to know His saving power. But they won't make it if we Christians don't take this seriously.
Seen rightly, our mission as Christians is to escape the "cabin in the woods," and then set up a kind of underground railroad. It's not enough that I make it out alive. I have to try to make sure that I help rescue as many people as possible.
This is our mission. "Making disciples" could be seen as helping others to get out of the trap that the devil has planned for us. But before we can do that, we must be free ourselves.