Monday, August 3, 2009

What is Real?

When I was only six, my sister got married. She took a train to move over 1300 miles away to be with her new husband, stationed in New York in the Air Force. It was the single-most traumatic experience of my childhood.

A year later, after she had given birth to their first child, my mother was packing for a trip to

A color-enhanced version of an aerial photogra...Image via Wikipedia

visit them. In my innocence, I asked my mother if, while she was on the plane, she would reach outside the window and "get a piece of cloud for me". In my mind, the clouds were tangible objects one could easily hold, put in a bag and bring home to a little girl. In fact, the clouds up in the sky were much more of a reality to me than the new granddaughter my mother was going to visit. I'm sure my mother tried to explain to me that the clouds were just water vapor, that they couldn't be captured or held. I'm sure, too, that I didn't understand the explanation. They just looked so real, like you could wrap your arms around them.

Thinking about this incident made me think this is exactly what our spiritual enemies strive to do in our lives. The attempt is to make those things that are real, of essential substance, seem as vaporous as the clouds, and to make those things that are artificial and without substance, seem concrete and of great import.

How often has a person who is an entertainer been held up to the world as a great and wonderful person, and yet someone who dedicates their lives everyday to helping others been totally overlooked? How often have sports figures who are paid astronomical sums to play games

A motor officer patrolling in Arizona on a BMW...Image via Wikipedia

been proclaimed heroes, when men and women who are barely paid at all to keep our streets and homes safe, put their lives on the line day after day and hardly receive a "thank-you", much less any real respect?

How many children in America today know all the characters of the latest Pixar movie, but can't name a single founding father of this country?

How many of us spend time watching television shows and movies of things that have no reality (including so-called "reality television") and then say we have no time to read the Scriptures?

Our time here on this earth is short. A child has 12 years to complete his schooling. What a shame if we expected him to be ready for high school graduation and he was merely ready to enter the fifth grade. By the same token, we are here with a purpose to fulfill and lessons to learn. That purpose and those lessons are not to immerse ourselves in the things that are not true. We are to fully immerse ourselves in what is true to the point that it spills out all over everyone in whom we come in contact. We are here to learn to walk in the Spirit, to "likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord."

We do well to seek that which is true and of lasting, eternal value in our lives. To invest in those things which will last beyond this vapor of a lifetime. Today is short, but eternity, blessedly, is long.

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true,
whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just,
whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely,
whatsoever things are of good report;
if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise,
think on these things."

Philippians 4:8
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Anonymous said...

I needed to read that. After a recent tragedy, I've been fighting through the vapor to find the bedrock. This post has helped. Thank you.

Frances Davis said...

I have had a situation today in my own life which has focused the beam even more tightly on the eternal.

I will keep you in my prayers.