Are You Becoming Real?

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I am not sure what is going on in this old world, but it appears to be coming apart at the seams. I believe most of us are suffering from the old “ME” syndrome, where we have to have things our way and we will do whatever it takes to get our way. It is as if we have lost our maturity and have turned into children once again…not the cute, cuddly children we love and adore, but the ones who throw tantrums if we don’t get our way. Our tantrums are not in the play pen when we throw our toys out on the floor. No, we have guns, knives, road rage… our stones are much bigger and much more deadly. And it is growing more deadly as the days go by.

The Bible reminds us of what is in the human soul when Cain kills Able… brother against brother. We see the deceitfulness when Jacob steals Esau’s birthright by tricking his blind father. We see a King named David so coveted another man’s wife that he sends him to his death so that Bathsheba can become his. Peter denies he knows Jesus out of fear for his own life. Judas sells out Jesus thinking it would force him to take on the Romans with earthly powers.

The human soul has both the powers

  • to create and to destroy…
  • to build up and tear down…
  • to love and to hate…
  • to heal and to kill…
  • to welcome and to exclude…
  • to forgive and to accuse…
  • to restrain and to strike out…
  • to forget and to seek revenge…
  • to give and to steal…

There seems to be an opposite bad response for every good intention. There is a choice to some degree between how highly or how lowly we will respond or react to our brothers and sisters who seem to be acting in accordance with something that doesn’t meet our high and lofty standards… standards which are substantially relaxed when applied to our own actions.

One of my favorite children’s books is The Velveteen Rabbit. I think I love it so because in very simple terms it shares some of the deepest wisdom of how to live life. I think (in its words) we have stopped “becoming” real. We stopped short somewhere perhaps when we thought we had life all figured out and it became comfortable to just stay in that spot forever. Haven’t we become the people who have to be carefully kept, with sharp edges… people who break easily? We most certainly are not the people who have become real… for to become real we have to love so much that most of our hair is loved off…

As I write this during a night when I must write or wrestle sleeplessly with this message all night, I am reminded that many times… many more than I would like to admit… I am part of the group I can’t stand. I have the sharp edges and age don’t help them get any softer. I have to be carefully kept… hearing the compliments no matter how false they are or else I will break. Too many times I walk the lower path and not the path that is part of the High Country… part of God’s heart, God’s plan, God’s calling upon my life. There is so much of my life that is not REAL… where I am not REAL.

I do a lot of ancestry work looking for the kings and horse thieves in my family tree… hoping that I find all good things. But if I am realistic I know that I am not perfect and I will not find perfection in my tree. Shake that tree and there is no telling what might fall out. One person in my tree was named “Theobald the Cheat.” That might have been ok if we could keep it hidden in the closet where no one would see. The problem is they made him put up a shingle outside his business that read in big, bold letters: “Theobald the Cheat.”

Tonight on the 11:00 news channel two had a segment about ancestry. This anthropologist did the math which stated that if we go back to the 12th century (good old Theobald) we will find that there is a cross section to where there are more people alive now than then… In other words we are all cousins several generations removed – we are all related. SURPRISE! SURPRISE!

Help me apply this principle: What would I do if the person I hate because of the way they live their lives… the persons I exclude, deny and defame because of what they have done… the person who asks me to look at them as real people… were actually my brother or sister or cousin, aunt or uncle, father or mother, son or daughter, granddaughter or grandson? Would we be as quick to condemn them? Would we disown them… ban them from our presence never to be heard from again? That is a test to see how real we are. Before we vote, protest, or cast aside run our thoughts through the family test. Will it hold water? Will you still hate, kill or destroy if it is a family member?

“Does it hurt? “

“Yes it does!”

“You are becoming real and being real hurts.”

Back in college our philosophy professor gave us a very haunting thought to consider. Every time you think you have your philosophy of life all figured out… when the circle is complete… watch out… that is just the time when God will break into your philosophical circle and say: “It is not big enough to include all my children.” That is one of those becoming real times… do you include all God’s children? Will you seek to love them all as he does? SURPRISE, they are family!


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