Welcome to my fitness room. It’s a little crowded right now because I have my bike in here for the winter to get ready for RAGBRAI next summer. That’s me on the screen too, well at least its my avatar. To make my rides less monotonous, I ride using a bike trainer and this program that allows me to have a virtual ride at different locations around the world. Yesterday I rode in London, it was sort of cool since I was there last fall and now recognize some of the sites. See all those flags on the right-hand side of the screen? Those are some of the riders from all around the world who are riding near me as we speak. The trainer tied to my rear wheel even increases the resistance to simulate hills I may be climbing. I guess this is sort of a virtual reality bike ride.
That’s not the only place I’ve seen virtual reality at work. When I started my career as an architect we laboriously did our drawings by hand and built cardboard models. When I retired in 2017 our younger staff was creating very realistic 3D computer models you could walk through or fly around.
Did you know there is a virtual reality mega church? It has been very effective in reaching unchurched people. There are really some great things about technology. It’s made our life easier and more interesting. GPS navigation, texting, instant weather reports, Google will answer almost any question, and You Tube can show you how to fix almost anything. If you get bored, you can pull up some music or stream a movie.
It’s not without drawbacks though. We have become so dependent on technology it’s like a drug. When is the last time you were out for dinner and no one checked their phone? Worried about identity theft? I am. How many passwords do you have, and can you remember them? Anybody remember Y2K? People hoarding, guns, water, food? Building bunkers because the world was going to end due to computer failures. That was 18 years ago. How much more have we become dependent on computers?
Well the world is going to end and perhaps God will use technology to facilitate that. Only he knows. In thinking about my bike trainer, and those building computer models though. They are not real, they are only illusions made to simulate reality. In many other ways we are distracted from the truth and seeking simulations of happiness; careers, accomplishments, money, recognition, abuse of drugs or alcohol, pornography, gluttony …. Don’t be an avatar in your own life. Live in the truth.
These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
……Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Jesus told them, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”