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  • Tim Blodgett

Hitting Reset

I lived in the country growing up, so most of my time was spent outdoors. Despite my youthful appearance, I am still of a generation where we only had three television channels, although I do remember when Fox 23 came on the air. Since my brothers and I spent so much time exploring the woods by our house, hunting, fishing, and playing sports, we did not play a lot of video games. That all changed with the invention of the Nintendo NES. For many households, that was the first video game system and the one that took video gaming from a niche industry to the mainstream.

If you ever played on that system - or even the Atari systems before it - you know that they were notoriously glitchy. The Nintendo would get too warm and (ironically) the game would freeze. The game cartridge would attract dust and the game would freeze. At times, it felt like if somebody in the room moved wrong then the game would freeze. I remember playing Super Mario Bros. endlessly despite this annoyance.

Nintendo was aware of this freezing flaw. They were so aware of it, they built a solution into the console: the reset button. When it froze, you could just hit the reset button and start over again. Or… if your brother was taking too long on his turn, you (not I) could hit the reset button by accident and start again.

That reset button is essential for any system, not just the game variety. We get stuck too. Committees, churches, and presbyteries get stuck. We go down a path for a while and lose steam. We try something new, fail, and do not know what to do next. A wonderful ministry continues for decades unchanged with decreasing importance and impact. A preacher preaches the same kind of sermon for their whole career. The same leaders produce the same results year after year. We get stuck.

One way of getting unstuck is to hit the reset button. We can choose to start again. We can go back to the beginning and make different decisions. We can start again from where we are and go in a different direction. We can decide that the way we have been doing our ministry or fulfilling our call no longer works and we need to change, retrain, or renew.

I want to challenge the churches and members of Eastern Oklahoma Presbytery as a new liturgical year begins and as we approach the beginning of 2024: What parts of your life and ministry need a reset? As you make plans for after this busy Advent and Christmas season, what should change and what needs to change in your system?


Rev. Tim Blodgett

General Presbyter

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