My Geeky Faith: How Story Has Influenced My Life
I’m not actually a life-long geek. I like to call myself a mediocre geek – I get excited about geeky things, I’m into a wide variety of geeky things, but my knowledge and experience of said geeky things is not very extensive.
I guess I’ve kind of been a life-long nerd though. Growing up, I was a bona fide bookworm, right from the very beginning. We have video evidence of little me “reading” a (Little Mermaid) book out loud (never mind the fact that I could neither read or even really speak at the time). I remember hiding books in my desk to sneakily read at school when I was all done my work (reading quietly at my desk – what a rebel). And it wasn’t unusual for me to have four or five books on the go at the same time, with no trouble at all keeping all the plots straight.
I’ve clearly been obsessed with STORY right from the very beginning. That’s why I don’t think the leap into geekdom was a very far stretch at all, especially when I consider what my favourite geek things are and the people who introduced me to this world.
My Geek Influencers
I think the first person to introduce me to geekery (as well as the longest lasting geek influence in my life) is my friend P.J. He was one of my cousin’s best friends, so I had known him for quite a while, but I think it was when I entered youth and he became one of my youth leaders that we really started to get to know each other and hang out. I have very distinct memories of being on a youth retreat and being dragged away from the Dutch Blitz table to play this strange kind-of-board-game, Carcassonne.
From then on, my descent into geekery was swift – I started to play all sorts of awesome table top games, I was an enthusiastic participant (but total detriment) in Call of Duty zombies, I had my first LOTR marathon, and I was blindly brought along to my first MCU movie, Thor. My high school group of friends kept that initial geek intro going. I’m calling this my geek-lite stage.
Then young adulthood. My first little toe-dips into RPG and MTG and probably other things ending in ‘G’, as well as some things that didn’t. After hearing about Doctor Who for ages, I finally watched it and found my first real fandom. P.J. (my DM), my two close friends (literally forcing me into MTG, taking me to games stores, making me watch things), and my husband (my geeky soulmate) are 100% responsible for all my geekiness in this stage.
It’s All About Story
And now for the thread that ties all my geek interests and influences together: STORY. The books, the movies, the TV shows – all the ones I love have a good story (exciting, interesting, with characters that I can relate to and believe in). The games that I love usually have some really amazing lore attached, or at least a cool backstory (I love me some flavour text!).
Aside from experiencing all these vast stories, geekiness has become a huge part of my own story. So much of my time and experiences revolve around some sort of geeky thing. But what I love even more is that the friends I have made through mutual geekiness are a huge part of my story now, too. Geekery brought and kept so many friends in my life. It was a huge factor in meeting and falling in love with my husband. And not only have these people influenced my geek journey, they’ve influenced my life and faith, too. I trust them to recommend board games and movies, but more importantly I also trust them to speak into my life about the really meaningful things, like Jesus.
What I really think makes geekdom so awesome, is that I’m not the only who was built to enjoy stories – we all are. God communicates through stories so often (Is 99% of the time a stretch, or a vast underestimation?). Most of the Old Testament is a story, and even the books we wouldn’t consider a story usually have story elements in them. The Gospels tell the story of Jesus’ life, and Jesus himself often taught through stories. God loves Story.
And that’s why I love being a geek. In all the geeky stories, I can find an element of God’s story, some nugget of His truth. I can share my thoughts in a devotional on my blog, or on an Instagram post, or I can just be encouraged myself.
Just as geekery is interwoven into my story, impossible to separate, so it is with Jesus in my life, on an even greater scale. Geeky things are a significant part of my story, but Jesus is absolutely crucial. I’m not sure who I’d be without all the geekiness, but I know that I wouldn’t be who I am without Jesus.
Another thing I love about being a geek is the geek community where we can all share our stories! Keep your eye on the blog for more upcoming stories from my geeky friends (in real life, and from all the reaches of the internet!).
Do you have a story to share about how geek culture has influenced your life and faith? Email me for more details to be featured on The Hoot & Howl!