Recently popular online is an octet of TEDTalks on "life hacks." The etymology of this buzz phrase comes from computer programming, where a programmer takes a shortcut—a hack—to save time and energy regarding a specific problem or set of information. Effectiveness outweighs elegance.
One of these eight videos, "The game that can give you 10 extra years of life," is from game designer Jane McGonical. She outlines how to speedily add several minutes to your lifespan with a few game-like, fun challenges that can be easily incorporated into daily life through something she’s dubbed SuperBetter. I learned already-daily activities (texting or emailing a friend a thank you, spending quality time with people, etc.) might prolong my life! Through scientific metrics, she proves it. SuperBetter involves physical, mental, social and emotional categories in which one can "level up." Through constant immersion in the game, quality of life and it’ duration can both be increased.
For McGonical, gaming addresses common regrets people have on their deathbeds, and SuperBetter grants the extra time needed to reverse them. People’s five greatest regrets, according to hospice workers McGonical cites, are:
- I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
- I wish I had stayed in touch with friends.
- I wish I had let myself be happier.
- I wish I had had the true courage to express my true self.
- I wish I had lived a life true to my dreams and not done what others expected of me.
Even if we’ve found a remarkable and entertaining life hack, it’s limited by its own name. It only addresses the temporal. Instead of a decade, what if you could live forever? What if it were backed by hard evidence in a historically ratified book? What if it was open source for the masses and you didn’t even need to watch a 19:31 video to find out?
SuperBetter leaves out what the Bible outlines as the most important component of reality: the spiritual. Our craving to live longer and better is part of human desire because at the beginning, we were designed to live eternally in God’s presence. God’s first warning to humanity about shortening our lifespan is in Genesis 2:17 to Adam, "but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." First Adam wanted to eat what he was told not to. Then he wanted eternal life back. On some scale, we all do this, pushing away the very thing that’s best for us, then wanting it back. It’s natural. Unfortunately many of us even do this with the Creator. Thankfully, God has made a shortcut back to him via his plan to forgive us, saving us from death and eternal separation from him.
God created an "eternal life hack," if you will. The first system, the Levitical Jewish temple was not intended to be a final version. There would be an upgrade down the line. Many prophets in Scripture alluded to this in speaking of a future Messiah who would be the final, ultimate sacrifice we would ever need: "But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5).
This isn’t a game. It’s something you can have right now, if you are willing to accept it. All the complicated, messy backend work has been done on your behalf by a loving God who wants to be reunited with you so you can once again live eternally and have a holy, fulfilling life before him. The most difficult part of this hack is just accepting it. Would you ask God to forgive you for your failings, and can you accept Yeshua (Jesus) as the eternal, divine and resurrected one who can save you forever? Don’t lag. Leave a comment below, or e-mail us at [email protected] with any questions you might have on eternal life hacking.