Monday, October 21, 2013

Metroids as an Analogy for Sin

                Metroids are the most dangerous creatures in the galaxy. They look something like large jellyfish, only with mandibles instead of tentacles, and they float around until a living thing gets close, then they latch on and such all the energy out of it. Once they’ve sucked out enough, they divide into two and begin again, so two become four, four become eight, and so on.
                What’s more, they’re devilishly tricky to kill. They absorb energy, remember, so guns, lasers, explosions, lightning, and so forth don’t do any good and might just make them stronger. And their bodies are so malleable, so soft, yet tough, that they can’t be beaten, cut, or smashed (even if you wanted to risk getting close enough to try). The only way you can kill them is to first freeze them, then hit them hard with something powerful enough to shatter them, like a missile.  

                The image of the all-but invincible, ever-multiplying parasite is, I think, a good metaphor for sin. Like Metroids, sin is parasitic; it draws its strength from its ‘host.’ It is our free will, our choices to sin, that give sin its power. Also, just as Metroids multiply the more energy they drain, so sin multiplies the more we indulge in it. What was a harmless way to blow off steam after work grows into a wallet-draining, marriage destroying addiction within an alarmingly short space of time. Sin indulged breeds more and worse sin; once you cross a moral line, it is nigh-impossible to return, and the next line begins to beckon you. The more you do, the more you’re willing to do, until finally the life-sucking parasites multiply to the point that they eliminate all life on the planet (that metaphor kind of got away from me).
                So how do you kill sin? First, you have to ‘freeze’ it; make a firm resolution to reform, cut yourself off from temptation as much as you can. In short, make it as hard as possible for you to sin. Put a filter on your computer, then your computer in the living room, then stay off your computer as much as possible. Avoid the people and situations that cause you to blow up in anger. Stay out of bars and away from parties.
Then ‘blast it with a missile;’ here meaning intense prayer, service, other interests, spending time with family and friends, or building ‘replacement’ habits. Instead of that beer, you drink coffee. Instead of smoking, you eat jelly beans.

"Die, Metroid! Die!"

                The important thing about the latter is to find an alternate and non-evil way to get the desired result (the ‘reward’ of a habit). Thus the alternative to an unhealthy habit like smoking is a comparatively healthy one like eating jellybeans, which gives you a similar kind of satisfaction via the taste and sugar, but without the lung-cancer. Even Love and Mercy can be a kind of alternative means of satisfying our desire to punish, as responding to evil with good often leads the other person to be ashamed of himself; a much more thorough punishment than any we could devise (as St. Paul says, we “heap coals upon their heads”).  
                But remember; first you need to freeze the sin. You have to resolve to eradicate it and work to limit your exposure to it as much as possible. If you don’t freeze it first, all the missiles in the world won’t help you. As with everything you do, overcoming sin begins with a choice.

Vive Christus Rex!

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