My wife, Carmen, and I have always enjoyed the occasional episode of the game show "Jeopardy." But over the past couple of years, it has become somewhat of a hobby.
We have our DVR set to record all of the episodes through the week, and whenever we get a free moment to watch TV together, we'll spend an hour or two catching up on them.
Of course, you can't watch Jeopardy without playing along. I feel like that's why it is so popular is because lots of people enjoy doing a little trivia every now and then. And Carmen and I are no exception.
Many of the categories are often topics I am not familiar with such as European History or 17th Century Literature. But when I see categories like Sports, Movies and Music, my eyes light up and I'm ready to show off my knowledge. There's nothing quite like shouting out your answers (or questions in this instance) and then receive confirmation from host Alex Trebek that you are correct.
I think if we were keeping score, though, that Carmen would probably beat me on most nights. She loves to read and has a much broader knowledge of facts than I do. Just please don't tell her I admitted that.
But no matter how well we do, it's fun playing along, making guesses, and even learning a little bit along the way. However, Jeopardy certainly is not the only game show I've enjoyed over the years.
Jeopardy (or at least this iteration of it) is the same age as me, so it's been around as long as I can remember, but there are several game shows I've gotten to watch and play along with.
Wheel of Fortune has always been a popular one with me. I always thought I was pretty good at guessing the puzzles with only a few letters revealed by Vanna White.
Press Your Luck was another favorite of mine as I've always gotten a big kick out of seeing how those dastardly "Whammies" would steal away all of the contestants' money.
And The Price is Right with Bob Barker was perhaps my favorite game show growing up. I think everyone loved Barker as well as the fun mini games contestants played in order to win prizes. A young Bradley Hall always dreamed of playing the infamous Cliffhangers Game on that show which featured the yodeling man climbing up a hill.
Several of these popular game shows have also had video game versions over the years, which allowed my brother and I to play them at home. I remember we had the aforementioned Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune on our old Nintendo, but game shows like Family Feud, Hollywood Squares and Classic Concentration also came in video game form back in the day.
Perhaps one of the most gut-wrenching game shows to ever exist though is Let's Make a Deal.
That game show features the iconic Door #1, Door #2, and Door #3. In many cases, you often win a prize through various ways, but are then offered a chance to trade that prize for whatever might be behind one of those doors.
Sometimes the doors could reveal a new car or lavish vacation, making your trade a great deal. Other times, you're not so lucky and you end up trading for chicken scratch.
Oddly enough, I've always thought of this game show as an example of why we as Christians have to share the Gospel. It's a challenge made to Christians but also an explanation to non-Christians about why sharing our faith is so important.
To paint you a picture, let's just say you were hypothetically presented with a Door #1 and a Door #2. Whatever door you pick, you have to accept the consequences. However, I have X-ray vision and can tell you what is behind each one.
If I knew that Door #1 would send you on an all-expense paid trip to Hawaii, but Door #2 would send you to a pit of snakes and spiders, wouldn't it be my obligation to tell you to pick Door #1?
Wouldn't I be a terrible human being if I just sat back and watched you end up in a pit of snakes and spiders?
This is exactly why we have to share the Gospel and listen to God's commandments. We know that if we tell people about Jesus and try to lead them to Christ, they could get saved and have the opportunity to spend eternity in Heaven. But we also know that if we sit back and do nothing, there's a great chance they might never hear the Gospel and, like the game show, their souls could be in jeopardy.
So knowing that we all have that choice to make and knowing the outcome of that choice, isn't it our responsibility to get out there and share what we know with others? Isn't it our responsibility to tell people what lies behind Doors 1 and 2?
It's not that we're going around telling people they're going to hell and that we're somehow better than those who aren't saved. It's through God's love and grace that we just want to share what we know. We know that there's a Heaven and a hell, and we know what you need to do to get to Heaven.
Are you telling me that we should just sit idly by and watch as others potentially set themselves up for an eternity of torment?
I would be devastated enough knowing I had the chance to be a witness but waited too long. And not only would I be devastated, but I firmly believe I would get judged for that as well.
Mark 16:15 says, "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."
In the game show, you had no idea what was hiding behind those doors. It could be something great or it could be something not so great. But as children of God, we know what lies behind those doors and we know which one we want everyone to choose.
Brad Hall is the nighttime editor at the Times-Tribune. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.