The Obsession Gene
By Kim Stokely –
I’m convinced that within me is an “obsession gene.” For the most part, this gene lies dormant within my DNA, but every couple of years, like some mutant cicada, it reawakens and consumes my mind.
When I was a child, the obsessions would center on a certain book or television show. It’s all I could think or talk about for weeks. When my husband and I married 25 years ago, my mother gave us a Nintendo 64 system for our first Christmas together. Fortunately my husband was on shift work, or my non-stop game playing through the night might have caused him to rethink his marriage vows.
Over the past twenty years I’ve become obsessed with different video games. Once, it was saving the citizens of Naboo from an Imperial take-over. My family staged an intervention when I suspected a flock of birds was actually a fleet of tie-fighters. Then there was the time I became consumed with the goal of becoming a Rollercoaster Tycoon. I even had the kids pray for the victims of a terrible crash in one of my imaginary theme parks.
As I get older, the obsessions seem to be fewer and far between. There were the brief addictions to Pet Society and Angry Birds, but it’s been quite a while since the last one.
So imagine my husband’s surprise when he saw that frightening, yet familiar, sparkle in my eyes after I returned home from a craft night with the ladies from my church.
“Oh, no.” He grabbed my shoulders. “What is it this time?”
His brows furrowed. “Knitting?”
I nodded. “Scarves! Look!” I held up the half-completed, first attempt, at a sashay scarf. The silver thread in the yarn sparkled in the kitchen light. My mind was transfixed.
Since that night, some four weeks ago, I’ve knit a myriad of the twirling pieces of neckwear. Like zucchini from a summer time garden, the scarves keep appearing. I’ve begun handing them out to strangers in the street. I don’t know how long this obsession is going to last, but my husband hopes it’ll end soon before I spend all of our retirement money on yarn.
God wants us to be that consumed with Him. Jesus told us that the greatest commandment is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30 NIV). It’s hard, in this world of distractions, to maintain that kind of focus on God. But if I can have that kind of concentration for a video game or craft project, I know that it is possible. It’ll take a commitment to His word and to prayer. But it is something to which we all should strive.