Shortly after I got my driver's license I was driving too close to the middle of a
narrow road and I sideswiped another car. The crash tore the front fender, two doors, and
the rear fender from my dad's car. After I found out everyone was okay, I stood in the
ditch and prayed, "Dear God, I pray this didn't happen." I opened my eyes and
saw that the car was still wrecked, so I closed my eyes, squinted real hard, and prayed
again, "Dear God, it didn't happen." Then I opened my eyes, but it happened
Jay Kesler, Raising Responsible Kids, Wolgemuth & Hyatt, 1991, p. 75.
Reality is the leading cause of stress among those who are in touch with reality.
C. Everett Koop, U.S. surgeon general, U.S. News and World Report,
January 9, 1989.
A golfer who had been playing badly went to a psychiatrist who told him to relax by playing a round of golf without a ball. "Do
everything you would normally do, but use an imaginary ball," advised the psychiatrist." The golfer tried it the next day. He
stepped up on the first tee, imagined he got a 260-yard drive, made a fine approach shot to the green, then putted for a par.
The round went splendidly and as he approached the 18th hole, he met another golfer playing the same way--no ball. The other
golfer had seen the same psychiatrist. They decided to play the last hole together and bet $10 on the outcome. The first golfer
swung at his imaginary ball and announced that it had gone 280 yards right down the middle of the fairway. The second golfer
matched his drive. The first fellow then took out his 5-iron and after swinging at his imaginary ball, he exclaimed, "Look at that
shot! It went right over the pin and the reverse spin on it brought it right back into the hole! I win." "No you don't,"
said the second golfer. "You hit my ball."
Bits and Pieces, February, 1990, p. 16.
To become a Christian is to accept an extra dimension to life. From the Christian's point of view the notable thing about
the unbeliever's world is how much smaller it is. The unbeliever is imprisoned in a decaying universe.
Imagine you took a child to the theater to see some tragedy like, say, Hamlet, at the end of which the stage is littered with
corpses. And suppose you had difficulty comforting the child afterward, so distressed was he at the spectacle of the deaths.
"But the man who played Hamlet is not really dead," you explain. "He is an actor. He also lives a life outside the theater. He
has a wife and family and, far from being dead, he is probably now at home with them enjoying a late supper.":
If there is one word the Christian secretly wants to use to describe the unbeliever's outlook, it is
literal . . . like the child who takes the play for reality.