Friday, August 11

Parallel Worlds


Cheryl and I have recently become involved in the sport (game? hobby?) of geocaching. Okay, maybe "addicted" is a better word. Geocaching is essentially a treasure hunt using GPS devices. People hide caches, which range in size from 35mm film containers to large buckets. They contain a log, so that you can sign proving that you've been there, and if they are big enough, they also contain various items. You can take anything you want as long as you leave something behind for some future visitor to take. The main website for the sport, www.geocaching.com, publishes the coordinates for the caches. You then use your GPS receiver to find those coordinates and the hidden cache.

One of the things that you become aware of as you get involved in geocaching, is that there is this entire parallel world that you didn't know anything about. First, these caches are everywhere. There are almost 300,000 caches in 222 countries, with more being placed every day, and there are more than 2,600 within 50 miles from my house. There could be one in the park bench you're sitting on, or under the bridge you are crossing, or in those woods along the bike path you are riding on. Geocaching has its own language and terminology. There are organizations that you can join so that you can meet and spend time with other geocachers. There are even civic activities you can participate to help make the earth a little better place.

It's exciting to be part of a hidden subculture. Your eyes become open to a whole new world you never knew existed before. You start seeing things in a new way. You live new adventures, and learn new stories. You want to tell other people about it, so that they can be excited with you, and maybe join you in the fun. Now, it's true that some people think it's dumb, but other want to know more, and still others get excited and want to join you in this new world.

The truth is that followers of Christ are already a part of a parallel world. When you become a follower of Christ, your eyes are opened to this entire world that you didn't know existed. You do see things in a different way, and you have new adventures and new stories. Unlike my experience with geocaching, however, we have the troubling tendency to not talk about this parallel world with people who don't know about it. We often don't try to introduce new people to this world, so that they can share in our adventures, and maybe have some of their own. I'm guilty of this, too. Why? I don't have a good answer. I think that at least part of the reason is that we go about it the wrong way. Too often we feel like we have to get others to buy the Christianity sales pitch we've learned at church, instead of simply telling the stories of our adventures, and seeing if they would like to join us the next time. We need to work harder at getting people who don't know Christ to come along and be part of the adventure for themselves. True, some people probably won't be interested. But you may be amazed at the number of people who want to see more, or who are ready to start having adventures of their own.

2 comments:

Karchy said...

Geo-dorks

John said...

Geo-dorks AND Christians... RULE! :)