Travelling is a good experience and I enjoy it. Through visiting different countries, I experience new cultures and see diverse landscapes. With border closure due to Covid 19, I resorted to “virtual travelling experience” by watching YouTube. I don’t mind that, as I do not have to leave the comfort of my own home.
That may also the case with many of us. We prefer to stay at home, particularly under COVID restrictions. Through reading books, watching YouTube, documentaries, movies, and browsing others’ social updates, we get to understand a variety of perspectives and experiences. All these virtual activities can be means of learning for us.
It was not until a drive to Canberra last week that I realized what I had missed out on. I went to Canberra to share at a church. Seeing the Australian landscape right before my eyes on the way up was heart-warming, because I was really there. The “virtual travelling experience” on Youtube was not authentic and it is nothing compared to the real thing.
If virtual experience is not as good as the real-life authentic experience, how about virtual/spectatorial spiritual experiences?
We may take a “virtual” or spectatorial attitude towards prayer, when others pray for us. We may forget that it is through authentic participation, praying for ourselves and others’ need, that the Spirit moves and transforms our heart as we pray. There is a sweet communion with God through our own prayers to Him. Only then is it a real spiritual experience.
We may be stirred by a “virtual discipleship experience” when others share how they submit to God’s words. We may be able to identify with their journeys and feel encouraged by them. But we may not be allowing the Spirit to transform our hearts. In that case, those experiences will remain others’ experiences and they are not authentically our own.
How then can we experience an authentic walk with the Lord?
We can experience the richness and fullness of the Christian walk through a daily encounter with God and commitment to follow His word in our daily lives. If we keep Jesus’ commands, we will remain in His love (John 15:10). “Virtual” spiritual experiences actually will not satisfy us.
Ask daily “What is one thing the Lord would like me to do to follow Him today?”
旅遊是一個很好的經歷，而我喜歡旅遊。走過不同的國家，我體驗新的文化、看到不同的風景。由於疫情導致的邊境關閉，我通過觀看 YouTube 來進行「虛擬的旅行體驗」。我不需離開舒適的家就可達到了。
我們很多人也是如此。我們現在疫情中, 情願留在家裡, 通過閱讀書籍、觀看 YouTube、紀錄片、電影、瀏覽別人社交動態的更新，我們可以看到不同的角度或體驗。這些虛擬體驗也可以是我們學習的途徑。