by Ernest O'Neill
If you are like many of us, you get up in the morning and try to feel how you are! "Do I feel rested? Am I feeling optimistic? Am I looking forward to the day? Am I worried? Is it raining? Will I have a miserable or exhilarating walk to the station?" Most of us find ourselves preoccupied with "us" and how we will relate to the world we're about to face once more.
And the result of this introspection or self-preoccupation can be quite depressing. Nevertheless this is often our experience as one day follows another. Sometimes some of us bounce out of bed and project ourselves and our thoughts right out into the outside world. We look out at the sunshine or the rain or the roofs of the houses opposite -- and we're immediately thinking of the outside world. We switch on the television and the images of other people and events fill our eyes and our thoughts. We're not the puppets of our own introspection and moods - we're the puppets of outside happenings and people.
Usually we find ourselves living a mental life that is strongly influenced either by our own inner thoughts or by the outer world's circumstances! And most of us feel there's no other way to live -- either the outside world or the inside self must dominate one's personal experience.
What is the Reality?
But this is nowhere near the reality of the situation! The reality is that God is inside you -- and you are inside God. The sheer joy that you used to feel as a child on a spring morning didn't come from your own inner thoughts or from the outside world; it came from God's son inside you. He -- Christ -- is always trying to lift you up with himself. As the years pass and you live more and more preoccupied with yourself and your own concerns, the weight of self-preoccupation dampens this spring of life inside you, but now and again you feel a tinge of the old joy. But most of us have no idea what it is, so we learn to ignore it or attribute it to spring-time or last night's light meal. What is the explanation of this reality?
Whether you evolved from a monkey or not here on earth, your actual creation took place inside Christ, our Creator's Son, long before the earth was made. That's' the gist of a statement made in the Bible by Paul when he wrote to people at Colossae -- Christ "is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; for in him all things were created...". Christ is not only the divine Son of God - he also was the first-born of all creation -- the first human-being; and all of us, including you, were made in him -- and are part of him. In fact we're human just because we're part of him -- He is actually the great human being -- we are just individual parts of him -- his body.
It's thoughtless of us to think all this is very mystical: we know fine well that whoever is the maker of the universe must have the same ability as we have to design something and foresee what it can and can't do. So, obviously, God was able to see that beings made inside his own Son would share his free will and had to have the ability to exercise it -- even against Himself. This is what our Creator committed himself to when He made us in his Son -- suffering whatever we might do to destroy him - then annihilating us as He had to -- although it meant annihilating his own Son's human life. Then, out of sheer grace, He made us alive again when he raised His human life up again. To conceive all of this in a milli-second of eternity was to live through it in that milli-second; the "playing out" of it here on earth has taken centuries. But that is the reality of our existence.
So What Are You Going to Do?
The self that was destroyed in Christ is full of death -- for you yourself and all you love; the self that lives in Christ is filled with life for you yourself and all you love. You can decide which self to believe in! Yes, your Maker gives you the right to believe even a lie if you wish. You can choose to believe that you are a little human being that exists separate from its maker: even though that is not reality, you can choose to believe it. BUT you will then experience the death that God brought to that life in His Son in eternity. This is where the depression and discouragement and anxiety come from -- the cosmic death that destroyed that independent self in Christ. Your Creator still loves you enough to send you these warnings that you are in denial -- and you have still the opportunity to live in reality if you wish.
Right now -- start looking away from yourself and your circumstances -- intelligence is the perception of relations and correlates. The higher the intelligence, the wider the sphere of relations and correlates that is perceived. Look beyond this little planet -- look up to the One who made you - and begin to live in reality -- in Him -- in His Son, the one in whom all things hold together - the One of whom you are a part -- the same One that turned the earth round today -- look out to Him -- he has plans for his life in you today.
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