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The Monsters In Our Minds: A Reflection On Dauntless

It’s almost midnight and I should be going to bed. But the hunt calls. Just one more. My friend Daniel tells me he is ready and off we go.

It’s a fiery magma spewing beast that coats the ground with fire and brimstone. Our four Slayers watch their feet and dance in and out of fire, lava, and the reach of the creature’s tail. Two of us dodge as the beast slams onto its side, seeking to crush us. For twenty minutes this dance of death continues until we’ve exhausted all of our health potions. This is it—we either end the beast or it ends us. My eyes are heavy. It’s late and I’m tired.

Success. The beast is slain and we stand triumphant. After collecting our loot we return to the city. I bid goodnight to Daniel and head upstairs to my warm bed. But it’s far from over. A new hunt begins. Here, in the quiet, new monsters are on the prowl. However, these don’t haunt the Shattered Isles of a video game—but the corners of my weary mind.

Much like the monsters that patrol the Shattered Isles in Dauntless, the monsters in our minds and hearts always come back.

We all have them: Anxiety, fear, depression, frustration, doubt. Instead of attacking with a tail, magma, or fangs these monsters attack us in our own minds. We all face the challenge of hunting them—hoping to banish them by finding and exploiting their weaknesses. But much like the monsters that patrol the Shattered Isles in Dauntless, the monsters in our minds and hearts always come back. Sometimes even stronger than they were before.

Each monster comes at you with their own tactics and signature move. Doubt paralyzes us, making every decision seem like an immovable mountain. Frustration clouds our judgement, and depression saps us of all our strength. Every move takes more stamina than we can muster.

But from each encounter comes something learned. We gain knowledge that helps us face the next attack. We read new scripture like “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow..”. We say an extra prayer. We get support from friends, siblings, or spouses. All of which help us craft the weapons and armor we need. All helping us to face another round.

A quote by C.S. Lewis seems relevant here: “Since it is so likely that children will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage.”

We all face the monsters inside of us every day. Dauntless reminds us that though they come back again and again and again—we’re not alone in our fight. We have brothers and sisters who can stand with us. We have the Holy Spirit who is within us. These give us the weapons and armor we need to stand.

Andrew is a Youth Pastor and Seminary student living in Wake Forest, NC with his wife Courtney and son Judah. When he isn’t working on his novel or playing Destiny, you can find him writing fan fiction or blogging about Destiny on his website www.castlescavesandgames.com.

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