Yesterday one of my nieces celebrated her first birthday. It’s amazing to think that she has already been in our lives for a year when it seems like it was just yesterday we were waiting at the hospital for her birth. My greatest desire for her is that she would grow to love Jesus wholeheartedly, committing her life to him as her Lord and savior. Along with that, though, I wouldn’t mind influencing her to embrace some of my favorite nerdclinations.
What kind of uncle would I be if I didn’t do everything in my power to get my niece to love Star Wars? It’s been over 30 years since A New Hope was first released and it doesn’t look like Star Wars is going anywhere. At this point there are so many entry points to get my niece interested in Star Wars. We could watch The Clone Wars, play Lego Star Wars or experience the myriad storylines on the new Star Tours at Disneyland. While I’d personally like to introduce her to the Star Wars universe through paper and pen role playing, I don’t think her parents would appreciate me socially stunting their daughter.
Video games aren’t nearly as nerdy as they once were. When I first started getting into gaming it was still a niche market without mass appeal. Now, though, with monster titles like Halo and Call of Duty gaming is ubiquitous. Even a fantasy epic like Skyrim isn’t that nerdy anymore; it was a topic of discussion on Facebook. So getting my niece to like video games shouldn’t be that hard, there’s already a Wii in her house. If I can influence her, though, into a legitimate gamer, then I’ll always have someone to sneak away and play games with at family functions. And when she makes her future husband happy because of her gaming habits, I’ll get to take all of the credit.
I was a Bible nerd long before I went to seminary. Growing up in the church I remember hearing Bible stories and seeing them communicated through flannel graph. I loved all the Bible stories and I was the Ken Jennings or Watson of Bible Jeopardy. Those stories not only gave me all the answers, they also provided a solid foundation upon which my faith was built. If I can help build that foundation for both of my nieces I know it will pay huge dividends later in life. I’ll love my niece if she doesn’t win Bible Jeopardy but I know she’ll be more likely to love Jesus if she does.
If my niece ends up loving Jesus but is indifferent to Star Wars and video games I might feel like a failure. Obviously it’s better to love Jesus than Darth but perhaps she can find enough room for both. I just hope that my sister doesn’t read this post and ban me from babysitting my niece.
How did those older than you influence your growth in Christ?