Tuesday, March 26, 2013


My youngest son, David (15) has been working on creating his first X-box game. He’s already created over 100 PC games using a simple program called Game Maker Pro over the last few years, but recently he was inspired to move over to actual coding to create a game for X-box Live. With the help of Brent, one of the brothers in our house church family, David has been hard at work the last few months trying to build his game from the ground up. It’s not been easy. In fact, it’s been downright frustrating at times. He’ll make progress one day and then get bogged down on a coding bug and not be able to move forward until he, or his mentor, can identify it and fix it.

A few weeks ago, David hit such a bug. He poured over the code and found nothing. Then he sat down with Brent, who’s already created and published two original X-box Live games of his own so far, and they still couldn’t identify the source of the problem. So, for weeks now he’s been dead in the water.

The problem David was having with the code was that when the player pressed the “fire” button, the bullets weren’t originating in front of the player’s icon. They were appearing at random places instead of where they were supposed to. Eventually, David stopped looking for the solution.

But then, just a few nights ago, David had a dream. He was with our family at an 80’s themed restaurant and I asked him, in the dream, to go back into the kitchen to speak to the head chef. When he got back there he found Paulie behind the stove. Paulie is a regular member of our motel church family. In the dream, Paulie handed David an X-box controller and said, “Don’t give up.”

In the morning, David woke up and remembered the dream. Especially the part about being handed the X-box controller and the words, “Don’t give up.” So, he sat down at the computer and started looking through the code again. That was when he realized something – he had programmed the enemies on the screen to fire tracking bullets at the player. In order for those bullets to track the user’s location it would have to calculate the position of the player on the screen first. Quickly he went to the code for tracking bullets and found what he needed. Then he copied that code and went to place it into the section for where the players bullets would spawn. What he realized was that his code wasn’t actually bad, it was simply missing one capital letter. See, the code is case-sensitive. So, his original code was only off by one letter.

If he had given up he never would have discovered this, and if he hadn’t had that dream he wouldn’t have given it one more try.

What’s even more awesome is knowing that David realizes that God was the one who gave him this dream and spoke to him about not giving up.

So, whatever it is that you have given up on – a relationship, a project, a dream – let me encourage you not to give up. Try one more time. Give it one more shot. Reach out and take that X-box controller from God’s hand and hit “Start” again. You might be surprised what happens next.




Pat said...

Great Post! Thanks for sharing Keith.

Brent Kollmansberger said...

What an awesome story. I just got off the phone with David and he told me about his dream. I too would have given up after my first Xbox game failed to sell well if God hadn't given me a dream. That dream gave me the courage and faith to keep going.

I was reading Colossians the other day and was struck that Paul prayed that they would be "strengthened with all God's marvelous power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need." Why did they need God's power? Not for miracles or supernatural gifts, but for endurance and patience. Faith that keeps going...