Posted by on February 21, 2018

Discovering Augmented Reality

I leaned toward the TV. “How are they doing that?” The opening ceremony of the Olympics had me mesmerized.

A hundred lights floated heavenward. Magical. And then Katie Couric’s voice interrupted the scene, “You should know, by the way, some of what is visible on your screen is not visible to us in the stadium. It’s augmented reality.”

Augmented reality? What the heck is that?

You would think I’d love augmented reality what with my propensity to write speculative fiction and tell stories about the space between what we know and what we hope for, but I’m not so crazy about the concept.

It’s cool in movies, but I think it loses something when it meddles with what we’re actually supposed to be seeing. By the time the opening ceremony got to the drones, my skepticism had taken hold. Was that really a bunch of drones forming the Olympic circles or more augmented reality?

Discerning Truth from Augmented Reality

So how are we to know for sure? Yes, I’m about to bring this around to a spiritual thought. I’ve struggled to write this post because I don’t want to put anyone’s beliefs down or point any fingers, and I’m not sure what to do.

I think that people who do not believe in God—who don’t understand that Jesus is God incarnate, and that one day he’s coming back—I think that those people are seeing a world that’s not real.

And the irony is, they think I’m the one who should go to the looney bin.

I don’t know what to do with that. I’m not a very good missionary. I once hoped to be one, but then I realized that my aversion to telling people they’re wrong would result in me crying and unable to string together a sentence. It’s not a pretty sight.

So instead, I try be a light, but somehow that seems to fall way short in this world where people think it’s okay to do and be whatever they want regardless of the consequences or pain it might cause.

It kind of seems like I should be like Katie Couric and speak up, “You should know, by the way, some of what you think is true is actually a lie. It’s augmented reality.”

That way maybe when the real thing comes out—when they see beauty and truth and recognize right from wrong, they won’t think it’s a lie too.

And you know, there is a way for people watching to know if what they see is true and real—it’s from the people who are there. That’s us, Christians. But we stink at it. I’m starting to think the church is mesmerized by the graphics and forgetting what real love looks like.  

Maybe that’s where my struggle is. I thought I should be telling people about the lie they’re believing, but perhaps I should remind my brothers and sisters that it’s not just everyone else who gets caught up in the lie. It’s us too.


What do you think we should do? Do you have any experiences with “spiritual” augmented reality?




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Tammy Van Gils
Tammy Van Gils
6 years ago

I so admire your view of the Christian experience, honesty, and heart. When so many worship the created and not the Creator, we need a reminder to focus on Truth. Remember the the hymn, “They will know we are Christians by our love.” May we keep our focus on living the Gospel through love. Thanks for the great post.

Carla Pollard
6 years ago

Great post. I’ve noticed this trend in media to impose an “augmented reality.” We believers need to press closer to God’s truth, founded on His word so that we don’t get caught up in a blurred reality. It is the physical world that will pass away, the unseen world is eternal. Others view this as an absurdity, but they are the ones with blinders on. Lord, help us all to see clearly and love others enough to share your truth. Thank you for this post.


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