The Escape Game
Among the epic adventures, my family and I enjoyed during my birthday weekend, The Escape Game topped the charts! Many people like playing games that challenge the mind and video games that avatars try to escape a situation, but this took it to a whole new level. WE were the characters and WE had to tackle solving scientific puzzles, decoding clues, performing math problems and solving scientific puzzles. Multiple locked boxes and clues were scattered throughout the room and we had to decipher those clues to hidden keys and combination passwords.
The themed rooms of 4th & 5th Grade Classes, Playground and Locker Room were chosen for us. We were locked in, and we had one hour to escape by solving all the challenges. With 13 of us in that room trying to figure out the combinations and situations so we could escape, it was a blast! I knew how passionate my family was about competitive games, but here we were one team trying to escape together. We were shouting out answers to questions and then getting so pumped when someone solved a task and a lock would open a door to the playground with all sorts of props used to solve the next challenge. Once that room was completed, the last room (the locker room) opened.
At the end of 60 minutes, we still needed about 5 more minutes to solve the last challenge. We didn’t escape, but fortunately, the Master Gamer, watching us from another room the whole time, saved us from the peril of forever being held captive in school.
We learned many lessons:
~ Teamwork is the key to making the dream work.
~ Brainstorm before tackling the situation individually.
~ Letting the “experts” handle “their field of expertise” (i.e., the math guy, Payton Wallace, tackled the math problems for us! And the firefighter guy, Braden Wuerch, knew to “break the glass” and whoa-la – magic happened!
~ Communication is KEY to solving group challenges.
~ It is so gratifying and satisfying as a team when another WIN takes place, especially for the one that solved the puzzle.
~ After the fact, we realized we should have had ONE leader that led the charge. Yes, my family is packed full of leaders who don’t succumb easily to being followers.
~ Ask for help when needed (there were monitors that were on the walls that if we all raised our hands and said “HELP”, we’d be given a clue that gave us an “AHA” moment.) We realized we didn’t escape because we didn’t ask for help enough.
~ We were all engaged in wanting to WIN together.
~ We were sure we counted the footballs correctly for the number we needed on a puzzle, but we didn’t look high or low enough. We spent way too much time on that decoding because we overlooked the obvious!
The lessons learned from The Escape Game can be applied to our lives on a daily basis. Every day we encounter challenges, problems, and situations that come our way. It is up to us and many times, our team, to decode messages, find clues that help us open up our minds to new ideas to complete a project or figure out a problem that is facing us. God is our Master Gamer keeping watch over how we handle situations. Instead of relying totally on the “goods” we have, He is waiting for us to say “HELP ME” and just like in The Escape Game, when we did, we would be given a clue that opened our eyes to what we needed. He has given us the Team Playbook (The Bible) for the clues and answers to all our problems, challenges and situations we encounter on a daily basis. If we grab each other’s hand while playing this game of life and help each other to succeed, then all locks, doors, and boxes will open wide to us for our GREAT ESCAPE. It will come when it is our time to escape into our real forever playground to live with Him eternally in a place where there will be no desire to ever escape.