Day 32: Living Daily in Reality: The Life of Contentment

by Ernest O'Neill

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    Living daily in reality means seeing that this is the world that has already passed.   The infinite Maker of the universe has seen his whole creation in a millisecond; his great mind has seen all that you and I and millions of our forebearers and successors would and have done with our free wills.  What we have here on earth is a flash-back to the world we would have produced apart from Him.   But He has destroyed all that in the timeless, space-less eternity and us with it, so that we now exist with Him – that is reality, and living in that reality is our privilege today.    What does this mean ?   It means letting his son’s spirit live in us the life that he has planned.   Doing and being this enables us to experience reality.

 

    It transforms, for instance, our life in the office and the home.    In both of those places, most of us live to build our own egos and get our own way and receive our due amount of adulation and exaltation.   We insist on our family giving us the right respect and flattery, or our office associates giving us due attention and obedience. We are used to looking at everything from our own point of view and take it for granted that we have the right to make things go the way we want them to.   We assume that others should be put out or inconvenienced so that our plans and wishes may be followed.

 

   Living in reality is utterly different.    Our creator behaved in a different way to this when he lived inside his son Jesus of Nazareth.   And he is the same, yesterday, today, and forever, so he lives the same way in us.    As we allow him to do that, we find ourselves in a new reality.   Although he had the right and the power to miraculously call down supernatural powers to deliver him from the crucifixion in Jerusalem, he instead submitted obediently to the agonizing death his Father allowed for him.    When he was the real king and deserved all the prominence and submission that both Romans and Jews could give him, he entered Jerusalem on a donkey and refused the exaltation that the people wished to give him.    He had the same attitude as his father, our Creator, who had every right to destroy us all for our autonomy and egotism, but instead submitted in his son to whatever insults and hostility and hatred we gave him.

 

   This is the strength of our Maker – he submits to whatever cruelty we choose to inflict upon him while he himself returns mercy, gentleness, and love.   Within us, he loves even our enemies and blesses those who curse us.   The simple reason is that he is the final reality and he will continue to outlast us in all our pride and self-assertion; his life will always outlast our crucifixions.   His weakness will always overpower our strength simply because he is the reality – not the nothingness that lies outside him.    So it is in our lives here on the earth – the hostility and hatred and anger may seem to triumph momentarily – even to the point of death as in murder and war, but his life of gentleness and submission will alone continue and outlast all else.

 

   Often this life of gentle mercy and preferring others before ourselves has been criticized as impractical because it did not produce results.   Usually we resist it for this reason – that it’s just not practical – it does not remove evil and establish good.   But our time-frame is too short; our perspective is short-sighted; our criteria are too provincial and local.    The reason for this kind of life is simply the unanswerable one that this is reality.  This is what our Maker is like – this is his character – and this is what lasts and will finally rule throughout the universe.   As we allow his life to be lived in us by his son, we find ourselves living daily in reality !


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