It’s amazing how one can live in one reality and totally ignore all others. Let me explain:
Yesterday I took my dog out for another walk. We didn’t have problems with the vicious dog on the corner like we did the last time (See Filling the Void, Part 3); instead Salida became very distracted by a real “hunk” – A “Superdog” who was walking with his owner in front of us. The Superdog’s owner, being of the smart type, quickly brought his dog under control and turned in a different direction. I heaved a short sigh of relief. End of the story!
Or so I thought . . .
A few minutes later, I let Salida off her leash to run in the fields. She was, as usual, ecstatic. I think she lives for these few moments of time off the leash each day! Initially she kept pace with me, and I quickly drifted off into communication with the One who really matters in my life. I don’t know how much time went by before I realized that my dog was no longer following me! I turned around, and to my surprise, Salida was 100 meters behind, turned in the opposite direction, staring at the above mentioned “Hunk” of a “Superdog”!
But they had gone the other way!!! How . . ?
Then I realized that when they had turned a different direction, they had simply waited until we had passed to return to our path. And now, that Superdog was roaring up the road, his obedient master in tow . . .
I quickly called Salida, and she reluctantly obeyed. She did so at a pace that would have done justice to a turtle, however! Her attention was completely consumed by this champion male!
When she was finally in my reach, I had no choice but to put her back on the leash and turn for home. It isn’t fun at all to drag along a dog whose attention rests on something meters behind you!
Salida’s freedom had been curtailed because the highlight of her day, going for a walk, had been replaced with another reality, an attractive “Macho” male dog. I had to remind her that she was way too young to even think about getting married. She would have to wait until she is at least 21!
From a human perspective, Salida’s choice seems very silly. Yet how often don’t we all find ourselves immersed in a similar situation? The other day I was planning next year’s vacation (I’m an early bird, what can I say?). Only after working at it for several hours did I forced myself to turn my attention back to completing my self-imposed “to do” list. My heart was not in it however, because my thoughts continued to focus on next year’s vacation, something that wouldn’t even become a reality for an entire year!
It is very common for us to let our circumstances get the upper hand, and as a result we often let day to day things in our live cause our vision of the Kingdom of God grow dim. This reminds me of a story in the Bible. Elisha’s servant worried about his present day reality, too, rather than trusting in God’s reality:
“When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. ‘Oh, my lord, what shall we do? The servant asked. ‘Don’t be afraid,’ the prophet answered. ‘Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’ And Elisha prayed, ‘O LORD, open his eyes so he may see.’ Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” (2 Kings 6:15-17 NIV)
May we learn from the apostle Paul and make God’s reality our reality! “Be imitators of God!” (Eph 5:1 NIV) Friends, we cannot be an imitator of God unless God becomes our sole reality.
The same is true with our inner void. It will never become completely filled to satisfaction unless God becomes completely real to us!
“At GOD’s coming we face hard reality, not fantasy” (Amos 5:20 The Message)
“But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is!” (Rom 1:19 The Message)
“They’ve refused for so long to deal with God that they’ve lost touch not only with God but with reality itself.” (Eph 4:18 The Message)
“This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality.” (1 John 3:19 The Message)
God’s reality is the only true reality. While living in His reality, the attractions of life will grow strangely dim and victory will become our norm: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: ‘For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8: 35-38 NIV)
Are you ready to roam in the palace of God? Or will you be distracted by that hunk of a macho dog?
(To access the entire “Filling the Void” devotional series, please click here.)