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Day 52: Living Daily in Reality: How Did We Get Where We Are?

by Ernest O'Neill

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We were made by our creator as part of his only son so that he could share his life and love with us. But he gave us individual existence and self-consciousness which we were free to accept or turn into self-centeredness. He foresaw that this would enable us to see him in contrast to what he was not; so today's world is what he is not. Through the centuries, his son has borne our self-assertion and sin within himself so that we might continue to exist, but this independence has corrupted our basic nature so that we are unable to live the life we were made for.
The corruption of our human nature into carnal nature can be diagrammed in many ways but one way that shows our fatal dependence on the world instead of its creator looks like this. We were meant to trust and depend in our innermost selves or spirits on the love of our dear creator: his care would give us the security, significance and happiness of his love - as we lived close to him in the communion of daily friendship. So he would give us intuition to guide our lives as we developed the earth's resources while our consciences would constrain our wills to govern our minds to understand the creator's directions, and our emotions would supply the dynamic to express his joy in his creation. In this inside to outside movement of life from our maker to his world we ourselves would become more like him in inner character, and the earth would reflect his beauty and balance Human Nature into Carnal Nature Diagram
However, we turned this completely on its head - upside down, inside out, so that the system now works backwards - with the fatal consequences that we see around us every day. Ignoring him we regard ourselves as self-made and therefore responsible for our own security so we try to get as many things - shelter, food, clothing - as will give us a sense of security in this life. As we see the billions of other human beings around us, we feel our smallness and unimportance, so we become preoccupied with making ourselves stand out from the rest - self-esteem, celebrity status, admiration become a big part of our lives. But as life passes, we feel that we should have some happiness before we die, so we desperately try to experience the peace and the excitement that we think we need. The result of this outside to inside life is frustration and futility. We never seem to get enough security, significance and happiness to satisfy us. Meanwhile our very nature is contorted. Getting things from the world diagram

Where our minds were created to understand our maker's intuitions within us, they are used to work out how to manipulate others and our circumstances to increase our security; where our emotions were meant to express the joy of our maker and our use of our abilities they are consumed with trying to enjoy or get exhilaration from things and experiences; where our wills were meant to direct our minds and actions as they were constrained by our consciences, they become passive and enslaved to the needs of our bodies and emotions.

Our maker foresaw this total corruption of our natures before he made the world - when he created us as part of his only son, allowed it to take place so that we could see what nothingness outside him was like, and then graciously bore the godlessness in his son, destroyed it (the "lamb slain from before the foundation of the world") and remade it - all in the eternal millisecond of the actual singularity that our physicists seek. This moment in eternity (where a thousand years are as one day), is now being replayed in slow-motion in our present world so that we can know it and experience it. Let's begin in these coming days to receive from our maker the reality that he has wrought for us and in us.

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