Living in Reality

While it might be said that reality is inescapable or that no one can run from reality. Perhaps, that’s not exactly true. It is often very attractive to live with a sense of ignorance to reality. Ignorance is bliss, right? It might be bliss for a moment but it takes a lot of work to stay ignorant, especially when reality screams at us all the time.

So, we drink a little too much to “take off the edge.” Edge of what? Reality. We find someone with whom we can share some gossip about someone else. Why? Because we have a “version” of reality that we need to share and have reinforced so that we can feel good about not facing the “real” reality of a situation or a relationship. We just walk away from relationships because we don’t want to face a hard conversation. We grasp for recognition, possessions, and/or accomplishments to give us a sense that we do have some power in a world that can make us feel pretty powerless. We stay busy and run from one activity to the next so that we don’t have to slow down enough to examine the realities of life. The examples can go on and on, but the point is that we do try to escape and we do try to run from reality. And often, we are pretty successful.

The question is: if reality is so harsh, why would we want to “live” there? Why would we not embrace the ancient philosophy of “eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die.”

The reason is because reality is the only place where God lives. It is the only place where others live. When we choose to run or escape reality, we have to create a God who can assist us on our run. And we have view others through a lens of how they help me accomplish my escape from reality. The result is a web of self-deception and confusion and a profound lack of peace and joy and certainly love.

There is a depth of peace, joy, and love that is only possible when we are living in reality. Necessary to the whole process is relinquishing our desire to escape and the tools of our trade … i.e., our escape mechanisms.

Relinquishing the desire means that begin to believe the reality is always ok because God lives there and has all under His control. And, it also means understanding that loving relationships can only occur in reality. In his book, Everything Belongs, Richard Rohr says this: “Everything belongs and everything can be received. We don’t have to deny, dismiss, defy, or ignore. What is, is okay. What is, is the great teacher. I have always seen this as the deep significance of Jesus’ refusal of the drugged wine on the cross.”

The missionary martyr of the last century, Jim Elliot penned these words: “Wherever you are, be all there.” Why? Because wherever you are is where a loving, sovereign God has you and wherever you are is the place where you’ll experience joy and love and peace in relationship with Him. There is often a death that occurs when we relinquish our desires to escape, but the death is well worth the resurrection that comes next.


~ by Ted Wueste on April 18, 2011.

One Response to “Living in Reality”

  1. “The reason is because reality is the only place where God lives. It is the only place where others live. ”

    Whoa. I’m going to have to really let this one sink in. Excellent point.

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