[“I have been playing the game, Angry Birds, since it was first introduced to the world around two years ago.” This was my initial sentence… but it has been brought to my attention by a friend – thanks Mark – that Angry Birds was released in 2009… seems I have lost track of time during my quest to kill pigs!!] In a small sense I have become a little fanatical (the developers know how to snare their players), and the latest version is super cool. For those of you not familiar with the game, or if you missed the movie by the same name, the basics of the game is a flock of birds that are slung from a slingshot to eliminate (obliterate) pigs. The pigs are egg thieves, and basically just a pain. THe noise they make is excruciating, to such a degree that I have subsequently resorted to playing the game with the sound on mute.
Now the pigs hide behind stones, wood and ice, and each bird in the flock is specifically designed to go through these obstacles to get to the pigs. The latest version of the game have some extras in an arsenal of exploding chillis, freeze blocks, balloon guns and the Mighty Eagle that swoops an entire platoon of pigs in one go. It was while playing the game that I thought about the real-life metaphor/s it presented. The pigs can be representative of all kinds of things we dislike, bad habits, bad attitudes, character flaws, bad relationships and basically anything that is out to destroy one’s joy, peace and contentment in life. The birds are representative of the methods we employ to eradicate ourselves of these bad and disgusting ‘pigs’.
My friend, Paul, once wrote a letter to some of his own friends outlining just this kind of ‘battle’ we all face. He encouraged them to approach everything from a spiritual perspectives he was of the opinion that there are spiritual forces at work to destroy us, meaning that it wasn’t really the pigs themselves, but rather the motivating forces behind them. Paul encouraged his friends to fight back with weapons provided by the Creator of all – these include truth, righteousness (dealing justly), faith in the Provider of the weapons, a firm belief and adherence to the manufacturer’s manual, using our spiritual wisdom like a sword, and always striving after peace. (You can read the letter yourself… it is recorded in the Bible, and the letter is the one written to the Ephesians).
Anyway, the worst kind of pigs in the game are the smallest ones! Sometimes they are so tiny you can hardly see them, and when they hide behind some stones, it becomes extremely difficult to strike them a death blow. THe one strategy that I have found works well, is to aim my birds at the base of the structures in which the pigs are ensconced. When struck well, it will cause the entire structure to topple, crushing the pigs left, right and centre!! Should one aim too high (usually where the biggest pigs are located), the top couple of pigs will die, leaving the smaller, more pesky ones safely hidden.
In life a similar aim is required. The target is always to eliminate the base, or the root of the structure to ensure the whole thing collapses. Dealing with only to top pigs is like treating a symptom only. Just like takin Aspirin for a headache, when the cause of the headache is actually a muscle spasm or something else. So, we need to identify the symptom first in order to identify the structure. Then we need to look at the nature of the structure and find the parts that support it and keep it in place. Then we need to take aim at the pivotal point of the support and shoot it out of existence.
Are you ready for a game of Angry Birds?