Elliot has been on a Rocket League kick lately. After school, track practice, and homework, he flops down on his bean bag chair in the attic and fires up his gaming system. He and his friend Danny team up to play random strangers from the PlayStation Plus cybersphere. The game includes elements of soccer, muscle cars, demolition derby, and science fiction.
It also provides opportunities for interaction. As soon as Elliot or Danny scores a goal, they tap on the game’s built-in chat function and type a two-letter message to their opponents:
The reactions to this communication are varied. Some respond with the text equivalent of a laugh. Others respond with incredulity and anger. Some less-experienced players don’t understand the short-hand and ask some sort of clarifying question like, “What does that mean?”
“ff” means “Forfeit.”
Elliot and Danny do it if they’re just thirty seconds into the game, scoring the first goal of the match. But they also do it if they score a meaningless goal in garbage time of a hopelessly-lost match to a stronger opponent. They think it’s funny. It’s their own inside joke, and it’s a sort of social experiment to see how others respond.
I think their “ff” joke is an interesting metaphor for the home stretch of the school year, between Kent State University’s Spring Break and Final Exams.
This is a time of the year when it can be tempting to just fizzle and fade. Experience suggests that it will be difficult to keep our staff and student-leaders motivated and engaged through the last month of the semester. As a result, appointments get cancelled. Balls get dropped. It’s just a weird time of the year in campus ministry. But I’ve recently felt compelled to seek God more earnestly this month. I feel like there is an opportunity to lean in and trust Him for good things down the stretch. When circumstances seem to prompt the question “ff,” I want to see the challenge in a different light and respond with faith and perseverance.
What if “ff” prompted us to respond with a defiant resolve to “Fight the Fizzle” instead of “forfeit” and fold in the face of adversity and apathy?!?
Fight the Fizzle.
I want to live this way for my own benefit and as an example to others. This is as much a season of opportunity — to build relationships, to refine my character, to share the Gospel, and to seek God — as any other time of the year. So, I want to Pray with Passion, Go out with the Gospel, and Contend for the Campus.
I want to Fight the Fizzle. And I encourage you to join me.