Scripture: Genesis 22-24, Psalms 11-12, Matthew 13-14. I missed yesterday so I had some catching up to do.
I had a pretty good day today. A good friend turned 24 today, and I got to hang out with him some. He got a Wii for Christmas and I went over this afternoon to play some golf on it. It is the most realistic video game I've ever played. You actually have to swing like you would if you were playing golf. The thing that amazed me the most was how accurate it is. I have a slight fade (or a nasty slice) on my shot and the game picked it up. It was neat, of course it meant I sucked at the game almost as much as I suck at real golf. The game did a great job getting it as close to accurate as possible. We played nine holes and at times I think we forgot we were in his living room and not out on the course. There were the same high fives on good shots and shouting at puts that lipped out. It was a great time. The weather was beautiful today and since you don't get many days in the high 50s in January we decided to go to the driving range for a while. (I still can't hit my driver, but I was encouraged by how well I hit my irons). We were at the range for about an hour and on the way home I couldn't help but think about how being at the range beat the pants off playing that video game. Try as they might, there are some things you just can't simulate: the smell of the grass, the feel of the club in your hands, and the sound and feel of a well struck shot.
I have great friends, and tonight I got to hang out with them (birthday party). We don't party quite like we used to, there were three babies and two pregnant women there tonight, but I enjoy the fellowship as much as ever. If I wrote all night I wouldn't be able to tell you how much I love my friends. We have had the opportunity to really do life together. (One of the guys there tonight has been my best friend since the 5th grade. He was the person I told after my first kiss with the girl who is now my wife, he was there the day my dad died, the day I got married, and the day my daughter was born. We've played ball together, stood by each other at weddings, sat in hospital waiting rooms; there has been literally nothing of significance happen in my life that he hasn't been there for. Actually one of the other guys there tonight did all those things to, except we met in the 9th grade and I didn't tell him about the kiss until after school the next day. I'm not sure why I included this except that I think its pretty special and I love those guys). God has blessed me with friendship and fellowship that few people ever experience. Tonight, during my quiet time, I couldn't help but think about how its just a simulation of the real thing.
I wasn't created to fellowship with them, I was created (among other things) for fellowship with God. I am a member of God's community, his family. I think the things we enjoy most in this life are just echoes of eternity. In the same way I enjoy the video game because it simulates real golf, I enjoy relationships because they feel like and remind me of the community I have in Christ. Just like no video game can re-create the feel of a great golf shot, no amount of laughter and friendship can replace being accepted and loved by the One who created you. I believe God gives us the beautiful things of this life so our heats survive until eternity. I hope we don't get so caught up in the game that we miss what we were really created for.