Friday, August 18, 2017

This Fragile Reality

What seems secure and unchanging can be gone in the blink of an eye. Those captured in the illusion of an unchanging reality will be the most vulnerable in times of great cultural upheaval.

Jan and I had dinner with some friends who were living in one of the most affluent neighborhoods in Los Angeles when wildfires began to sweep through their area. An evacuation order was issued but my friends decided to stay along with several other neighbors. The evacuation was announced on all of the Los Angeles media outlets. My friends shared how the reality of their tranquil and upscale neighborhood changed in a moment of time.

As soon as the neighborhood was evacuated strange cars filled with gangs began to prowl the streets. Homeowners set up armed patrols to seal off their streets. This most affluent and protected neighborhood in America was now a war zone of sorts. Armed gangs smelled fresh and unprotected meat and within hours they were on the prowl. The rapidity of change was dramatic, immediate and breathtaking.

I saw this when I visited the old Soviet Union just months before its collapse. What appeared to be an unassailable superpower fell within days. When Katrina hit New Orleans the city turned into a scene from a disaster movie. We are one natural disaster or riot away from these kinds of unexpected realities. They are the unpredicted scenarios no one saw coming. The assumptions we draw from our fragile interpretation of reality can blind us to what constantly surrounds us always pressing into the foundation of our illusion.

As I write these words, I am sitting in one of the safest and most beautiful places I have ever lived. While I am enjoying this blessing from God, I have not settled into a mindset that assumes this reality is the source of my emotional and spiritual stability. There is always something somewhere in our future that will shake our current reality. This can happen by the death of a loved one, a natural disaster, a financial collapse or a dramatic shift in culture.

Today, examine the foundation of your reality. Nothing in this life is stable. None of it will last forever. Dig down through all the elements of your life and re-establish your feet on the only sure foundation. That foundation is a person - Jesus Christ. He is your only place of security in the unstable and ever-changing events of human history.

“It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built” (Luke 6:48).

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