Let’s get real. One of God’s many names is “The Great I am”. That means He is everything, everywhere. Another way to say that is, “He is What Is”. Exactly and completely What Is. He is what’s real. Right now. He is reality. Let me say, very boldly, that I can understand reality.
I should say, I can understand my viewpoint of reality. I have my own angle from which I see What Is, unique to me. God is the Big Picture. The Bird’s Eye view. The Forest. I’m just a tree (and a very small sapling, at that). I’m looking up at the soaring Eagle from ground level. From my Ground Zero. But all the same, I see What Is.
Note that I said I can understand. There’s choice involved. I can deceive myself or be deceived about What Is. I really do wonder how much deception is out there running rampant in the world today. And why that might be.
Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come.
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
Let me compare the old me to the new creation. I used to not like my reality, so I pursued every opportunity to alter it – that is, my perception of it. I drank to excess. Used. Escaped to virtual worlds. Thought fun was the best thing to have – all the time. Sought satisfaction in material things. Jumped at the chance for momentary bliss.
But ignorance is bliss. Ignorance of What Is. Affected moods and distracted mind don’t change reality. What Is remains, waiting patiently for me to deal with it, to accept it – to accept God and what He Is. He finally got through to me eight years ago. I finally became frank. With myself. I looked at What Is and really asked myself, “What Is Next?”, if I want to get to somewhere better.
Let me say, very pointedly, that my “What Is” is different than anyone else’s. Sometimes it can be very different. Sometimes it can be similar. This is, of course, because our circumstances (yes, the socio-economic ones) are either similar or different. It can be very difficult for any one of us to truly identify with any other’s reality – but, all the same, What Is is What Is.
[The Lord] grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He Is a shield to those who walk with integrity.
Some other names for What Is are “Common Sense”, “Honesty”, “Integrity”. I’ve always been confused by Common Sense – if it’s supposedly so common why does it seem to be so rare? (There’s a cliche out there that goes something like, “He/she doesn’t have the common sense God gave a _____”. So, again, we have this idea of trying to deny reality in favor of something else.)
We’re talking about my ability or willingness to be frank about What Is. Or not.
The way you lived and the things you did brought this trouble to you.
It is your evil that made your life so hard.
Your evil brought the pain that hurts deep in your heart.
Jeremiah 3:18 ERV
“Evil” doesn’t have to be a “bad” thing, done on purpose. Think of the cliche, “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.” Not doing the right thing, or doing nothing can also be the source of challenges, of bad outcomes.
Start now, from where you are, with what you have.
On the other hand, being completely Honest about What Is is the necessary starting point for moving forward. I must work with What Is to plot a path to What Could Be, and that is what God wants. He desires the best for us. And, if one is being completely Honest, what and where one is starting from does have an impact on how far one might go, and one has to accept that, too.
(For example, What Is is that I love music and singing, but honestly I don’t have such a great voice. That doesn’t mean I should never sing; indeed, I make a joyful noise at the one place it’s always welcomed, in my Church. And, being frank about What Is my singing, I am motivated to practice every chance I get – so who’s to say I won’t get better, I won’t get “good enough”? That’s What Could Be. My “evil” was thinking and claiming all those years to be a singer without actually singing. I was in denial about my need to work hard at something I felt passionate about.)
Let’s review: There is What Is, and my response to it, accept or deny. Get real or avoid. On the day of the conception of my rebirth – the beginning of my beginning to learn, so to speak – I was blessed to be stabbed with the revelation of exactly where my past reacting had brought me. This was an intensely real experience. Oh, the places I had drug myself through! Things I never had expected, had never thought I would do! Arrest. Behavioral hospitalization. Business failure. Harm given and received. Obsession, Procrastination, Isolation, Avoidance. Perhaps, though, for me, What Is Next was quite easy. There literally was no way to go but “up”. And there was- there always is, always has been, always will be – help. A How To Guide. But I had to become willing to receive it – by pursuing it.
Yes, I speak of reading The Bible. “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.” The original self-help, self-improvement manual. Except it’s not about “self” – about being or going through life alone. It’s the voice of What Is, speaking through the wisdom of thousands of years of human experiences and best practices. It is the repository of Common Sense.
Stay tuned for how finally seeing and accepting What Is has resulted in a completely changed me…
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