Over the years, Zynga has become one of the most well known gaming developers. They first hit the limelight with the creation of the popular Facebook game, FarmVille, followed closely by CityVille and many others. Hordes of users, including myself, delved into these repetitive games of clicking, growing, harvesting, and replanting. Mindless entertainment at its finest. However, as of late, the company has come under fire for its lack of new changes, like upgrades and smartphone integration. Many users feel Zynga lost the zing that it once packed and have drifted away. The blow to their user base crippled them and they were even forced to lay off staff in 2012, creating an even more rapid decline in quality. Personally, Zynga’s seemingly imminent demise made me aware of the time wasted logging on between classes and at home creating something that wouldn’t last. I too deleted the app, but before I stopped playing I requested that all my friends gift me cats and I filled my fields with wheat knowing they would soon turn to waste. For a couple weeks before I deleted it, when people visited my farm, all they would see is a screen full of wheat gone to waste with about 30 cats sporadically dispersed around. It was, in my opinion, a superb representation of my disdain with the game.
The reality is, everything this side of heaven is prone to turn to decay and will turn to waste if not maintained. In our own lives, we too spend time planting, growing, and harvesting. With each new relationship and choice we make, we plant a seed that will come to harvest in some form, but has to be maintained. Just like in Farmville, we have to be aware that if we are not intentional about the things in our lives, then they too will turn to waste. God tells us in John that He is the vine, and we are His branches. He promises that if we abide in him we will bear much fruit. In Malachi He says, “I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear” (Malachi 3:11). He is the life giving vine. Even when we fail, He promises us in Joel that He will restore the years and the destruction if we allow Him. When we rest in him we will bear fruit, when we share our fruit with others we nourish the relationship. When we call on his name He will rebuke the devourer, but when we cease to be intentional we will eventually turn to waste. Zynga seemingly understands the concept of always having to stay fresh and has launched two new games. Currently, as I write this, I am playing FarmVille 2, and it does have a brand new feel. The devourer has been rebuked, and I’m ready to give them another chance.