I’m not sure how many of you even know what this is, but for you gentlemen out there, this is a classic:
Technically, Chrono Trigger was a pioneer in eliminating random battles from Squaresoft’s RPG line, using on-field graphics for battles, a double and triple-tech combination system that was unparalleled in its creativity, and vibrant, colorful graphics that blew all its SNES competition out of the water.
Yet beyond those accomplishments, there were 2 things Chrono Trigger was really known for: a soundtrack composed by Yasunori Mitsuda and Nobuo Uematsu that is still considered by some to be the greatest video game soundtrack in history, and a storyline that was one of the most intricate ever, spanning eons and having a (then) unheard of 10+ multiple endings.
The story revolves around a silent protagonist by the name of Crono (creative, I know, but the Japanese came up with the name, so it’s creative for them), whose communication with people throughout the game consists entirely of “yes” nods and “no” head shakes. Note, protagonist silence is a mechanic meant to draw the player into a deeper connection with the protagonist, as if the player’s own personality could be projected onto the character. This is impossible with movie storytelling. But this post is not about game mechanics, so I’ll stop the geek speak and get back to the story.
Early on, Crono encounters a “Gate,” which causes him to travel back in time into the Middle Ages. After a number of plot twists, fighting alongside a man-frog, and hopping time portals a few more times, Crono and his friends land in a barren wasteland. They soon realize upon watching a video recording that the wasteland is actually their own world just over a thousand years into the future, and find out that the world saw an Apocalypse in the year 1999. The rest of the story follows Crono and friends as they journey to find out just what happened, and if there is any way they can use their ability to travel time to stop the Apocalypse from happening.
One of the main reasons the plot of Chrono Trigger was so compelling was the group’s resolve to do something about the fate of the world in the future. The events of the future were almost a millennium away from the present, and Crono and his friends from the present would have long since died when the Apocalypse came. In other words, the Apocalypse was effectively removed from the lives of Crono and his friends; they could very well have went right back home without ever thinking about the future again, and they would have suffered nothing. Yet instead of choosing to live a comfortable life, the team decides that they will do whatever it takes to save the future, because they make that future their own.
The sheer heroism and altruism at this moment in the story is actually quite powerful; this is one of the first, if not only, storylines in a game where the protagonist will risk his life to save people who are of no benefit or connection to him whatsoever. Yasunori Mitsuda’s score written precisely to characterize this determination and altruism is also moving for anyone who knows its significance.
Young men often dream of doing great things, of taking a risk to save a love, of fighting for the fate of the future, and so on. Most dismiss this dreaming as the naivete of youth; after “experiencing life,” the wizened are pushed to a cynicism that resigns them to settle for mediocrity. Yet at the hearts of even the old is a stirring, a trembling, a desire to expend their energies and heart for the sake of the greater good. To bring peace to war, to overcome evil, to rescue the future. To put aside the petty worries of life to bring change to the world.
Enter Christ. For all the grandiosity that young men aspire to, Christ actually achieved it. From a comfortable throne in the heavens, he saw the impending doom that would come upon billions if something were not done, and he left his seat. Though these billions could just as easily mean nothing to him, he decided to make them worth something to him, worth laying down his own life.
He decided to take humanity and make them his own. In so doing, he died, and he rescued the futures of all those who would believe on him.
If you are a young man, or if you are old, and you know this longing to give yourself for the greater good, there are two simple calls to you. The first is to recognize that the great story of history is not just about you. It is about Christ and how he has fought and died to make you his own and save you from your sin, though you would rather not have him. You do not deserve the chance to live your life for others. Your apathy for the future and your lack of sacrificial love for your current companions betray your true interests, and you must first be rescued from these before you can help anyone else. You must recognize this, or else the second call will never materialize for you.
That second call is to look around you and call those people who you see yours. Their lives may not affect you. You might have a better, more comfortable life without them. You may not even like them. But you must make them yours, and you must refuse to let them go. You must commit to them. You must bind up your future with theirs. You must pray for them. And you must throw your whole might into them. This is what church is meant to be, and this is what mission is meant to be.
Only when you put your whole being into this call of Christ will you know what he means when he says that “he who loses his life will find it.”
Young man, do not throw your life into saving the world from death only to realize you are postponing the inevitable. Only Christ can rescue from the coming apocalypse.
Yet you now have one life to pour into bringing others to him! Do his calls to true life not make your heart beat faster? Do not those impulses that you were made for something more coarse through you and stir you to put your whole life into that cause?
Those around you have a future. What you will do today may very well determine what happens to them tomorrow.
Do not delay. “Now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” Choose to take up the fates of those around you and put your life into their rescue and their restoration through Christ.
The future of the lost may yet be rescued. Go to them. Today.