Thursday, February 16, 2023

Virtual Reality and Effective Medicine

Suggested Reading: Proverbs 17:17-22 (or the whole chapter)

A recurring theme explored by a number of science fiction shows and books is the concept of virtual reality. Each time I have seen virtual reality addressed I have seen a slightly different take on the subject. But one thing each of them had in common was the idea that what happened in the virtual reality could have very real consequences in the real world. For Stargate SG-1, the result of dying in virtual world was an adrenaline surge that would eventually make your heart give out if repeated often enough. For the Matrix dying inside the virtual world meant you died outside too. In Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time an injury received while dreaming would be waiting for you on waking. In all of these various imaginings, the details were slightly different but they all took into account the very real phenomenon that the mind affects the body.

We should not be surprised, then, that the author of proverbs understood this same principal. In Proverbs 17:22 we read, "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength" (NLT).  Notice, he doesn't say that good medicine can restore a cheerful heart. Far too often we allow our physical conditions and our circumstances to determine whether we have a cheerful heart. We decide that we will be cheerful when things get better, that we deserve to be depressed, that we deserve to feel hopeless. And, maybe, we do deserve to feel depressed. Maybe, we do deserve to feel hopeless. But a broken spirit saps a person's strength.

Whatever you are going through right now, you may be perfectly within your rights to lay down and feel sorry for yourself. You may be in such difficult circumstances that no-one would blame you if you simply gave up. But giving up will never make things better. Allowing yourself to give in to a broken spirit will only steal the little strength you have left. But a cheerful heart is good medicine. You can choose to have a cheerful heart right now in the middle of your circumstances. You can choose to smile, not because everything is OK, but because you believe everything will be ok. You can choose to remember that God is in control and that God takes care of his children.

Don't allow your heart or your attitude to be determined by your circumstances. Choose the attitude that will help you to improve the circumstances.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! You were a true instrument for God today as I read this! Thank you for this!


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