This guy, Mark Farid, will spend 28 days in a room as a real life Avitar with nothing but virtual reality googles seeing and virtually living life through the eyes of another. This is a psychological experiment to test whether Mark will be less his “normal” self after the experiment and take on the personality of the person whose eyes he is observing life from. Psychologists are wondering what changes will take place in his personality or if he will even want to go back to his normal self.
Life is becoming increasingly more virtual. Relating heavily through social media is certainly more virtual than direct human contact with people. The “gaming” world, our society’s obsession with pornography, and our over reliance on “smart” phones has undoubtedly dumbed down our sense of reality.
Last Sunday, church members excitedly told me that our church was a “stop” on the new game Pokemon Go and people were pulling into our actual church parking lot looking for imaginary Pokemon characters on their drives through our neighborhood. A friend recently came by my house and let me try on a pair of virtual reality goggles and my living room was transformed into an outer space scene with comets flying by. The whole experience felt real enough that it made me dizzy.
All of this begs the question, “What is real?” Christian theology teaches us that what is real is that which lasts forever. Time has exposed everything in this present world as temporary and fading. In other words, we live in a virtual world.
One of the great prophecies about Jesus from Isaiah indicates that His kingdom is forever.
6 For a child is born to us,
a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor,[a] Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 His government and its peace
will never end. (Isaiah 9:6-7)
How can we “keep it real” in a virtual world? In a society that is inundated with words from the right and the left, it is important to remember that all of these words are temporary. “Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear.”
Resist the societal pull of virtual living by spending time reading and meditating on the words of God which will last forever. Spend time worshipping with God’s people and listening to the Word which pierces through the temporariness of our times and focus on that which lasts forever. In other words, “keep it real!”