Saturday, December 1, 2012

Virtually Alive

It all started with my daughter asking me to down load an app for my iPhone. She thought it was awesome and wanted to have shared experience with me. What harm could it do I thought? What harm? If  only I  had my future self  with me at the time to kibosh the download and slap me in to reality.Sadly,  future self was nowhere to be found and this app was downloaded  and my virtual life was born. The app is called Virtual Family. A game where, well, where you  have a virtual family, virtual career, and virtual home.
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 If I am to enjoy a game I need it to be an escape, a distraction from the real world and this game was not. I had to virtually make the meals, which took an extraordinary length of time. I had to virtually pick up socks. I had to virtually work in my office.  I had to virtually deal with infertility problems. I had to virtually discipline my children and the funniest part I had to virtually deal with spam email?
 Really? one look at the game and I ought to have said, bye bye you are not for me. Alas, that was not my reality, never did I see the light instead I  choose to see my virtual world in the palm of my hand.

 I attended to my virtual life diligently, making sure my virtual children remain alive, ensuring I work hard enough in the virtual world to attain career advancements and still daily pick up virtual socks. Heaven forbid that I do not pick up those socks!! Yep. I have left the realm of sane and jumped right to crazy.
I sit there on my couch, picking up virtual socks, while (and this is what prompted my blog) quite literally there are a pile of unmatched socks at my feet awaiting sorting.

The real world for those minutes (okay..ashamedly hours) I played rushed by me without notice and continued on without my attention.  I was slowly becoming unaware and removed from my real world.

Now pay attention, because this next bit might just be for me  but I had to include it in my blog. I look at my spiritual life. A life I claim as the most important thing about who I am. A life that I put a great deal of effort into, but so often I fear I might be missing out on the real spiritual experiences. I sit with my journal, and write about experiences I want to collect with God and things I want to live for, from the comfort of my couch. I pray for my real friends but not in their presence. I seek truth in God's word but fail to truly implement it in my real living. I seek God with all my heart on my couch but when I arise I often forget that I need to continue to seek. How can I have such an impressive spiritual walk with God on a couch and such a lackluster walk when I get off the couch? Perhaps I am someone virtually living  but not fully living spiritually. Am I just virtually alive?

Okay, wait just a second. I will never diminish the importance of my "couch time" with God. It is those moments that strengthen me, shape me and remind me of who I am. I know that without those moments I would not have survived. I am not at all reducing the importance of those moments, I am simply pointing out that in my life, perhaps I am not really experiencing all God has in store for me because off the couch I focus on me and not Him. Perhaps, I am living  somewhat of a " virtual" Christian life defined by the dimensions of my couch and the color of the ink I use to scribe my thoughts in my journal.

I think here is the problem, I can comfortably control my behavior and others from the couch. I can comfortably involve myself in loving God's people without being in their presence.  I am really not interacting with them. Interacting would take a different sort of courage, a braver person who has better risk taking skills.

 Just because I am an introvert does not mean I should choose to live my life in the safety of my controlled world. Why not put the pen down and experience all I am writing about in real time. That would be down right scary. That would require more  than I possess. That would most assuredly make me uncomfortable. Here is  the reason why I am not more in real life; I cannot control those around me, and sometimes they make me uncomfortable. There I said it, I like control and planning and living in real life does not let me have enough of it. I am  aware that often my biggest most fulfilling spiritual moments are during my couch time. God calls to be a light in this world, it is hard to do that from your couch. I want my biggest awareness of God to be doing His work, engaging with His people and shining His light brightly when I can only see darkness.  Now that is real living.

I know from here my next steps will be to be more willing to get out there and experience God through all sorts of people and  occasions. I know that  and I am determined I want to do this better. I want this not because it will make my life so much more full , although I know it will. I want to do it because I want to glorify God in all of my life not just during my couch time. I want to know and experience God in all aspects of my world and not be merely virtually alive. I want to be alive in the fullest!

Shine on my friends.. now encourage me to get off my couch and go out and live!