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Day 20: Living Daily in Reality: Two Environments

by Ernest O'Neill

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We've been talking about reality - and living in it every day. We've said that reality is that you personally have a loving Father who made you in his only son so that he could live the life that he has planned; so his son is working to complete his creation through you and in you. So obviously living daily in reality means depending on this son of our creator inside us. How can we do that ? Is there a great difference between going to the world around us and going to the eternal world beyond time-space ? The difference is huge in our own attitudes and huge in the two powers unleashed in our lives !

Early in your life, you begin to realize you will not always have your parents with you. You realize you'll have to provide your own clothes and food and shelter if you are to have any security in this world. But there are at least 6 billion other human beings who are trying to get their share of the world's food and shelter so you begin the long battle for a good job and adequate salary. You soon get used to feelings of anxiety about exams and bank accounts; you also get to know that unpleasant feelings like envy and selfishness can rise up within you as you struggle to get as many things as you need to live.

It's the same when you come to understand that other people don't think as much of you as your parents. You seemed to them the most wonderful person in the world and they often treated you like that, but suddenly you see that other people often don't even notice you. You begin to feel you're just a cipher - a number - a little nothing among the billions of other people who are also feeling the same way. So begins your great struggle for attention and recognition. You find yourself drawing attention to your achievements in boastful conversation, and you start the age-old game of criticizing others to make yourself look good. It's then that you discover the inner drive of pride and jealousy as you try to beat others who are themselves struggling to establish their significance. Everyone seems to be trying to be the most famous - and you despair of your own nothingness.

When you were a child some of your happiest times were when you were out with your parents for the day - you were carefree, utterly safe in their keeping and just using your little abilities to play or read. Soon you yearn for that little mixture of contentment and excitement that you used to feel then. Then you start the search for that happiness in your adult life, and soon you find that the desire to enjoy peace and excitement is forcing you into living for the weekend break or the emotional thrill or the nothingness of unconsciousness. You know that it's a lie that changing your circumstances will bring happiness, but somehow you can't see any other way to get relief from boredom or dissipation.

Most of us have experienced some or all of these feelings as we're lived like everyone else - depending on things for our security, people for our sense of significance, and circumstances for our happiness. Let's talk next about the effects of this on our personalities.

HOW CAN I KEEP FROM SINGING?

 
My life flows on in endless song
Above earth’s lamentation;
I hear the real though distant hymn
That hails a new creation

No storm can shake my calm repose
While to this rock I’m clinging:
If Christ is Lord of heaven and earth
How can I keep from singing?

What though my joys and comforts die!
I know my Savior liveth;
What though the darkness round me lie!
Songs in the night he giveth

I lift my eyes – the cloud grows thin,
I see the blue above it;
And day by day this pathway smoothes
Since first I learned to love it.

The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart
A fountain ever springing
All things are mine since I am His

How can I keep from singing?


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