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Day 50: Living Daily in Reality: We Need a Cosmic Rectification

by Ernest O'Neill

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Your Creator has made you part of his own Son - inside himself - so that he personally would face all the consequences of your rejection of him as your maker and father. Only thus could he bear your necessary destruction in his Son's humanity yet justly recreate you in his Son's divinity. This is the eternal millisecond event that alone can transform the perversion we have brought upon ourselves.

You and I endeavor to live as self-existent, self-made beings. But we find we have needs that only a maker's love can supply - security, significance, happiness; so we look to the world of things, people, and circumstances to meet these needs. Not only has this produced the chaos of our present world, but it has deeply perverted and contorted our original natures. We try to establish our significance or importance by convincing other people to respect or fear or praise us: even the involuntary movements of our eyes show how much we seek favorable attention from others. Thus our bodies seek reassurance for our minds that we do not need the approval of any god greater than ourselves while our whole being becomes incorrigibly dependent on others' opinions.

But this sin or autonomy is like quick-sand; the more you try to get out of it, the deeper you sink into it. So, for instance, our self-help efforts to produce humility usually end up as self-conscious modesty. Moreover, we find this self-made willfulness has a stubborn, self-preserving assertiveness that defeats all our valiant attempts to root it out: however many self-improvement books or techniques we use, we find that somehow self-centeredness gets the upper hand and we find our life contaminated by self in many areas of our lives. We cannot believe that otherwise mature and balanced people could have such trouble with attitudes that they wish to avoid and habits that spoil their lives.

Because of this apparently irrational behavior in ourselves, many of us set out to analyze carefully our inner lives and tackle the symptoms one-by-one. First we deal with the obvious ones like physical indiscipline in eating or exercise; then we move on to destructive family attitudes like irritability, argumentativeness, critical comments and bitter resentments. Meanwhile we move on to the work attitudes of driving ambition and desire to be noticed with the accompanying vices of envy, pride, and jealousy. But we find by the time we've found some success in these, the others that we overcame have sprung up again; so we have to start all over - until we gradually realize there is some common attitude here that continues even after the symptom has been suppressed.

This self-existent, self-made conviction that governs our lives seems to be a many-headed monster that touches every part of life and personality. The reality is that old-fashioned sin is simply "missing the mark" - missing or evading the reality that you have a loving Father who made you. It's a bit like missing the key on the keyboard - you can't remember what others you might have hit in trying to find the right one. The results of missing the mark are so numerous that there's no way you can track down all the parts of your original nature that have gone wrong. Only God himself can rectify the myriad erroneous connections and short-circuits that we have created between our spirit, soul and body; our daily frustration with ourselves comes from our belief that a DIY (do it yourself) job will solve this. Nothing but a complete replacement will restore us - we are like the old man who was offered millions for his little house on a unique building site in the city: he was amazed at the price, and he spent weeks trying to make it worth the price. At last he finished all his repairs and renovations: the buyer came with his check - AND his bull-dozer - he wanted only the site - the house had to be completely removed and he intended to build a far bigger and better one. We tinker with our personalities and try to organize the parts, but only the Maker can remake it the way it was meant to be. It needs to be bulldozed and remade completely.

HOW CAN I KEEP ?

 
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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