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Day 25: Living Daily in Reality: Eternity in Time

by Ernest O'Neill

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Our creator is not some cosmic toy-maker who makes billions of human-beings, gives them free will and then stands back to observe the results. He is a loving father who foreknew in a millisecond all the consequences of the free decisions of billions of us through the centuries. He bore them all personally in his son, could then negate them and their cosmic effects, and mercifully made us all again in him. He then expressed that eternal event in time in his son's death in Palestine in the first century. So we are now free to see in this present world the effects of our decisions and to choose our original creations instead.

This is the meaning of profound statements in the Bible like "we are God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works which he has prepared beforehand that we should walk in them...he himself bore our sins in his body on the tree....our old self was crucified with him....with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day". But how do we change ? Many of us have tried to live independent of the world's things, people, and circumstances and depend on our creator for our needs, but we've found it impossible.

The only way for us to live in reality is to believe our creator is who he says he is and has done what he says he has done. Just as in our day-to- day lives we live in things as they are, so it is in time and eternity. Only our maker can actualize in time what he has done in eternity - this is the meaning of that paradoxical Biblical statement "at the east of the garden of Eden...a flaming sword which turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life". Our part is obvious - simply live in eternity - in accordance with the change our creator has wrought in us in his son's death. If we live in that daily, then he actualizes the eternal event in our present lives.

So there is no mystery about living in reality - it is not just an ascetic self-discipline of our evil tendencies or a life-long ethical slog or a self-directed dependence on how-to books or an esoteric mysticism which tries to believe what isn't true. Faith creates nothing - it simply accepts reality and lives accordingly.

In other words, living in reality means letting our creator's son, Jesus Christ, live in us the life his father has planned, i.e. a life where his spirit daily depends on his father for the security, significance, and happiness that his love and friendship give us. This means daily dying the death that he died for us to things, people and circumstances in our ordinary lives - the result is the activity of his spirit in our lives so that "he works all things according to the counsel of his will" and "all things work together for good to those who love God".

This means a life that works from the inside out instead of from the outside in. All of us are aware of our bodies and most of us are aware of our minds and feelings, but only a few of us are aware of our spirits. Sometimes in the quietness of a summer afternoon in the country or the darkness of a starlit night we - like the poet Wordsworth - "have felt

A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply inter-fused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man:
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thoughts,
And rolls through all things."

This is the part of our personalities that our creator has brought to life when he raised us up in his son. Reality is believing that and living from the inside out each day - from the level of our spirit out through our souls and bodies. Let's talk about this kind of life during these next days.

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