Alternative Reality

I was driving home from Yorkton to Regina, Saskatchewan tonight, and with very little battery power remaining on my phone due to forgetting my charger this weekend, I was stuck without music. (I am picky with my music; the radio rarely makes the cut). The clouds made the crescent moon look mysterious, and of course, I got to thinking the way a person does in the night and the solitude.

Have you ever been asked the question: If you had all the money in the world and no commitments, what would you do? It's a hard one to answer for me. I have always struggled, because there are so many things I would like to do, and trying to figure out my deepest desire isn't a cakewalk. Tonight was different. I realized that my desires could be easily determined by the way I spend my free time. Then I realized how pathetic I am. If I had no need to go to work, no schoolwork with imminent deadlines, and no relationship that need tending, what would I do? I would sleep till I couldn't sleep anymore, I would eat whatever took the least effort, and I would play some video-game on my computer. Seriously. I would love to think that I am not the only one who chooses to spend their time like this, but even if everyone else is the same, it is still rather pathetic.

So then, discouraged, I asked myself: why? Why do I want to spend my time on something with absolutely no value over everything of any value? I desire to build an incredible castle and city in Minecraft, but I don't spend time planning and developing things in my real life. I want to organize and design a sweet house in The Sims, yet I can't keep my house organized and tiny. I want to rule an empire well and play as the leader of a medieval kingdom in Medieval II: Total War, yet I don't live Kingdom-minded in this world for God. I put hours into something that satisfies my deep longings in some way temporarily, but those hours are swallowed up and gone with no return on investment. Why don't I care about what really matters?

Ecclesiastes 1:14 says "I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind" (ESV). The writer isn't talking about video-games. He is talking about real, tangible, productive action. If all of real life is vanity and striving after wind, then how much more pathetic is the waste of time that I partake in, for there is nothing gained, but only time and effort lost in the pursuit of an alternate reality.

I have deleted every game from my computer. I have cut the losses, forsaken the invested time and money in order to salvage what remains of my time on this earth, or at least to take a step in the right direction. I encourage you: what do you give your life to that does nothing but drain each precious breath? Take stock, and take hold of your time, for our life here is but a vapour.

Benjamin WoolheadComment