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The year was 2010 if I remember correctly. I had just graduated college and was fortunate enough to get a job in the video game industry right after school. In fact I had an interview with a recruiter about a month before graduation so I actually got the job prior to finishing school. I felt this great sense of accomplishment. My life was really going somewhere. It was a very good feeling indeed. Sometime after I started working at THQ, a now defunct video game publisher/developer who at one point generated millions in yearly revenue, me and my cousin spoke about a PlayStation 3 and how badly he wished he could afford one. The system was released in November of 2006 so it had been out for awhile. I purchased one in late 2007, about 2 months before I moved to Arizona in January of 2008. I remember the system cost me $499, so plus tax it was about $530, man that’s a lot of money. At the time I didn’t have any bills to pay, since I still lived at home, so I had a lot of money to burn. Fast forward to 2010, my cousin still had a PlayStation 2 which was released in the year 2000, and was pretty archaic in terms of video game relevance. That system was 10 years old and my cousin desperately wanted a PlayStation 3. I really enjoyed my system and I too wanted my cousin to experience the power that was PlayStation 3. I was doing pretty okay financially and by 2010 the PlayStation 3 had dropped another $100 dollars in price. The behemoth I mentioned earlier that cost me $499 had actually initially released at $599, whoever got one for Christmas that first year in 2006 should still be counting there blessings today. By this time though it had dropped to $299 so I had promised my cousin I would buy him one for his birthday. He was so excited, and even told me how he had been praying that he could get one and even made a testimony praising me at his church because I was getting home one. His birthday was still a good 4 months away but he basked in the knowledge and assurance that his coveted PlayStation 3 was on its way. Unfortunately I never made good on that promise.

As his birthday grew near, my cousin would ask, “hey man you still gonna send me the PlayStation right?” I would reply, “Yeah man I got you,” I asked for his address,  and confirmed the time frame I would be making the purchase. I had every intention of buying him the system. I only worked at THQ for 1 year before I was fired. I had got a big promotion about 9 months in, first time in my life I had ever interviewed for a higher position in the same company, and actually beat out other more qualified candidates. I sold them on my personality, eagerness to learn, and ability to catch on fast. At first I loved the position of being a Mastering Lab Technician, it just sounded important. My supervisor and I got along in the beginning but later bumped heads. They say never bring religion in the workplace, but I did in fact and I don’t think that sat well with him. My point of views can often come across as overly judgmental, to a non-Christian anyway, though my intent is never to be that way. Long story short I was fired due to a minor mistake, that I’m sure wouldn’t have got me fired had me and my superior been on better terms, but I digress. So I lost my job at THQ about 2 weeks before Christmas, with car payments and rent looming and hardly any money in savings. All those years of habitually wasting money had finally come back to bite me in the butt. This was no rainy day, it was a hurricane storm, of Katrina proportions, and I didn’t have an umbrella. Thankfully God weathered that storm and blessed me in so many ways during that trying time. Money literally feel into my lap through various channels, but before that I stayed diligent, looked for work relentlessly and told myself everyday that God never closes one door without opening another. Moving right along….

To this day I still feel a sense of regret for not keeping my word in buying my cousin the PlayStation 3. I mean today he owns a PlayStation 4, see these companies are smart, every 4 or 5 years they release a new system and that’s more money the consumer has to dish out. It’s a cycle, but I love it. I have been gaming for over 30 years and it’s my favorite pass time but that’s besides the point. I guess what bothers me most is I didn’t keep my word. I pride myself on being a man of integrity, and while I know it doesn’t matter to my cousin today, I know he was let down then by me not sending the system like I had promised. Why didn’t I send the system? Was it because I lost my job? Maybe, but prior to that I’m sure I had ample opportunities to keep my promise, and if I couldn’t afford to buy him a brand new one  I could have always sent him the one I had. Now that I’m older I’ve learned being generous is far more rewarding than being stingy, being a giver is far more fulfilling than keeping all for self, and sometimes you don’t get a second chance to give so you have to go with your gut, which could actually be the Spirit stirring you up. I guess in the end it’s not about the game system itself but it’s the principle behind doing what you say you’re  gonna do. It reminds me of that old saying “word is bond” which in the hip hop community back in the 90’s you heard people say “word is born”. The same meaning applies, let your word be your bond, be a person of truth. It often feels hard to do because in our mind we find ways to justify it. Justify the lies actually. “Oh I don’t want to hurt their feelings” or “it’s just a white lie, everybody tells those” or what about deceitful lies? Lies where you let the person believe something or lead them to believe something you know isn’t true. I heard a Pastor say that the world system is so built on lies at least in this society, that you have to make a choice to be truthful just like we make a choice to lie. You’ve heard it said the truth hurts, but also the truth shall set you free. Maybe we tell little lies to make ourselves feel better, or it’s a subconscious thing. For me though it says I don’t care about this person enough to tell them the truth or at the very least respect them enough. I think that’s why all these years later I still feel a conviction about the PlayStation 3, not getting it for my cousin, because I said I would.

As I close I leave with the thought knowing that I should always be moving forward and not living in regret, which I don’t. I do feel it’s important to sometimes reflect on the past, despite being unable to change it I can still change the future. Just because I’ve not kept my word in the past doesn’t mean I can’t keep my word today. Let’s be people of integrity, let’s be truthful with one another. God hates a lying tongue, and it’s impossible to live in total victory if we’re continuously doing something God hates. Thanks for reading!!! Peace and Love always

 

-Sym