How do you react when something known, something comfortable, something that brought you joy… suddenly changes?
There’s an arcade a mile or so from our house that the boys love to go to.
Ok, I’ll admit, I love it too.
I’m not a game player, but I do like the old fashion arcade games there. You push nickels into each game’s slot, and when you win, you win actual paper tickets.
Once, my youngest child spun a wheel and won 1000 tickets, and there was such an overwhelming sense of joy radiating from him as the tickets piled up around his feet and he struggled to make sense of them.
This place reminds me so much of arcades when I was a child… that feeling of walking around having fun with friends and hoping in the end your pile of tickets will sum up to buy you what seems like the best prizes ever.
The tickets were always a big mess as well as a counting nightmare for the teenager behind the counter… but, honestly, that was part of the anticipation and the fun!
This past Monday our family piled into the car to go to the arcade on our day off. I told the man at the cash register that I wanted $20 of nickels for the five of us, and I knew instantly something had changed when he handed me a plastic card instead.
The old arcade had turned… digital.
No more nickels clinking together in a worn plastic cup.
No more piles of tickets shoved in pockets and bags and clutched in sweaty kid hands.
It was… different.
So how do you react when something changes?
When you no longer recognize it?
Can it still have meaning?
Though it feels as if something is gone that will never come back, it still planted something in your soul.
And isn’t that the point of… everything?