Summer is officially over.
Vacations have all come to an end.
As I see my friends post things on facebook about their vacations coming to an end, the status-update is almost always the same. The person coming off of vacation says something about going “back to reality.”
Something in me always bristled at that idea. Now I think I understand why. Reality is seen by almost everyone as a drudgery. It’s seen as the thing that we do every day, almost mechanically. It is a thing to dread. Reality is work, and whining kids, and grocery shopping, and laundry.
Which is true…
But it’s not the whole truth.
Because we need to ask ourselves a question. What is the really real? Obviously we can’t ignore the gritty and difficult parts of life. But is that all that is real? We treat vacations and good things as a place of rest away from the real world. But we don’t treat them as they really are. The drudgery, and the hard times, and the painful suffering we endure is what truly distracts us from reality.
Because here’s the truth of reality:
You are created out of the laughter of God. The longing you have for a life in which you do only that which you love will be fulfilled. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” He is saying here (at least in part) that if you are longing for a world in which you are able to do what you love deeply with all your heart, then you are blessed because God is already at work to fill that longing.
The most really real that you will ever encounter is when you are deeply loving, enjoying, and fulfilled.
When Jesus spoke of repentance, the word he used was “metanoia” (hey, isn’t that a great name for a blog?). The prefix “meta” means beyond or change. For example “metaphysics” is beyond the physical. “Metamorphosis” is a change beyond the original state. “Metanoia” is a change in thinking. Moving beyond our thought patterns and the way we see things.
I say that to tell you this.
If our view of “back to reality” means for us a return to drudgery and suffering, then we are desperately in need of a metanoia. We are desperately in need of understanding that the God who created the entire universe, created us to enjoy him and he sings over us. And he has given us all good things to enjoy. We don’t need to gloss over the hard times. They come and they must be dealt with. But we need to never ever allow ourselves to be convinced that they are what reality is made of.
What is real, is Love.