Amazing! My friend with whom I was playing billiards thought my cue ball had leapt over another ball and knocked the eight-ball into the corner pocket. This was a mystery to me since nothing of the sort had transpired. We were playing pool in a psychiatric hospital because my friend could no longer function in the world. His reality had completely changed. He heard voices and saw illusions. It was a funny scene fraught with much sadness because reality no longer existed for my friend.

History recounts many people for whom the inability to distinguish reality from illusion led to disaster. I recently read the account of a group of soldiers in North Africa whose supply of water had run out. As their thirst increased and their anxiety elevated, they began to see mirages. Some of the soldiers were found dead around a sand dune that had apparently appeared as an oasis of water and plenty.

So how do illusions and mirages apply to us as followers of Jesus? What do we view as reality that is only illusion? – Do we seek to satisfy our "soul thirst" with

  • More knowledge?
  • More possessions?
  • More power?

None of these, in themselves, are wrong. But when used to satisfy the soul, they are a mirage.

Isaiah, speaking for God to the children of Israel, admonished them against striving after mirages when he said,

“Why spend money on what is not bread and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live.” Isaiah 55:2-3 NIV

This week, let us, together, assess the status of our strivings. Are we seeking after that which will truly satisfy our souls or the illusions the world has to offer?


Sharing the journey with you,

Bob Snyder