Just the other day, Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO of Facebook, was pictured wearing a virtual reality headset. Facebook is investing billions of dollars to explore taking their social networking to another level, by incorporating it with virtual reality. Many people may not be aware of “virtual reality,” but it is an attempt to create reality for people using technology. People are fitted with headsets and other controls to allow them to experience life in another dimension. According to Wikipedia:
“Virtual Reality (VR), which can be referred to as immersive multimedia or computer-simulated life, replicates an environment that simulates physical presence in places in the real world or imagined worlds and lets the user interact in that world. Virtual reality artificially creates sensory experiences, which can include sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste, and more.”
When I read the article about Facebook’s leadership exploring Virtual Reality, I had to laugh. Virtual Reality is hardly anything new. Much of our culture has been living in some levels of Virtual Reality (VR) for a long time now and Facebook has become a major part of that experience. Ever since the media and technological advances captivated this world, it has become increasingly hard to know what is real any more. It started with radio, then movies, television, videos, computers and now the internet. There are countless other ways that we can all change the reality we experience to be something else entirely. In a world dominated by these Virtual Images it is hard to know what anyone believes about reality anymore. People live in their own worlds. Technology has become a genie to facilitate a growing number of people to be the center of their own personal dream world…….to be as a god.
Now the interesting thing about Virtual Reality, and the counterfeit world we are creating for ourselves is that we can miss the Real World and the Real God. The Lord has created this world to be a glorious expression of His beauty and love for us, but fewer and fewer people seem to see it. Even fewer seem to see that this world needs redemption…….a Savior. We often run from reality because we can’t take it. After all, how much pain, murder, violence, hate, sadness and death can people take? We simply don’t know what to do with sin. As a result, people are doing just about everything they can today to get away from it. Everyone wants to feel better, so many are running to drugs and/or the latest technology.
However, the moment after we die another reality begins. We are finally confronted by the reality of Reality. When we meet the God of love we also find out that he wants a world without sin and death. When we face that Holy God, we won’t have a Virtual Reality headset on. We will either have a Savior or we will not. The choice, of course, will have been ours to make in this life.
The purpose of the Real World is to teach us about our need for the Real God and His redeeming love. When we discover that Real World and Real God, it is an exciting and thrilling place, and we don’t need the Virtual World of our making. We don’t have to run and hide in the safety of our computers, phones, electronic toys or Facebook “friends.” You see we have real friends in God’s plan, starting with the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, along with an amazing group of forever friends called the Church. We don’t need to be entertained or escape to some fantasy world. The Real World is so great; we want to stay there all the time. We are surrounded by the most exciting life we could imagine…… and by the way, there is NO death in that Real World. Sign me up. How about you?
You see every day the Lord has tried to show us the Real World of His love. That is our Father’s world. The Sun rises (resurrects) every morning and sets (dies) every night in the Real World to remind us of that Gospel love. It is the simple story of a dying Son (not the sun) that rose again (resurrected) to announce the Good News of a new life and world. Once we take a step into that Real World, the Virtual World just doesn’t really matter anymore. Let’s enjoy that Real World today, and leave behind the Virtual World of illusions and empty dreams.