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Staying Connected to What's Real

Point to Ponder:

Is your (and your family's) reality more real or faux?

Can you believe that picture is 100% real with not one single edit?!? It was taken during sunrise meditation at our ReNew Year Retreat in San Diego and as you can see, it's why we choose this location every year to retreat and renew. The cleansing ocean air and breeze, spectacular sunsets and sunrises, and the soothing and rhythmic rolling's perfect and everything we need.  This completely natural setting and experience truly allows each person to rest and reconnect with their spirit, as well as quiet the busy, disruptive and distracting noise that rumbles throughout our overly occupied brain. Interestingly, just before arriving to San Diego I received a blog post written by author John Eldridge, titled Engagement With The Real. This particular post (linked below) speaks to how much time we, our technology addicted and hypnotized society, spend indoors and trapped in our counterfeit world. After reading it I was both inspired, disgusted and ashamed, as I too fall prey to the lie and convenience of fake, and allow my family to as well. So, what does this have to do with creating your vision and our Steve Harvey inspired 300 list for your new year and life? Everything--as creativity and tapping into the desires of our soul and realizing the infinite possibilities we hold in our hands-- all comes from our Creator and the inspiration within our real and natural world.

I ran across a news release so shocking I had to read it twice. It didn’t make the front page but it should have: the average person now spends 93 percent of their life indoors (this includes your transportation time in car, bus, or metro). Ninety-three percent—such a staggering piece of information. We should pause for a moment and let the tragedy sink in.

That means if you live to be 100, you will have spent 93 of those years in a little compartment and only 7 outside in the dazzling, living world. If we live to the more usual 75, we will spend 69 and three-fourths of our years indoors, and only five and one-fourth outside. This includes our childhood; how does a child be a child when they only venture outside a few months of their entire childhood?

This is a catastrophe, the final nail in the coffin for the human soul. You live nearly all your life in a fake world: artificial lighting instead of the warmth of sunlight or the cool of moonlight or the darkness of night itself. Artificial climate rather than the wild beauty of real weather; your world is always 68 degrees. All the surfaces you touch are things like plastic, nylon, and faux leather instead of meadow, wood, and stream. Fake fireplaces; wax fruit. The atmosphere you inhabit is now asphyxiating with artificial smells—mostly chemicals and “air fresheners”—instead of cut grass, wood smoke, and salt air (is anyone weeping yet?).

This is a life for people in a science fiction novel. You live a bodily existence. The physical life, with all the glories of senses, appetites, and passions—this is the life God meant for us. It’s through our senses we learn most every important lesson. Even in spiritual acts of worship and prayer we are standing or kneeling, engaging bodily. God put your soul in this amazing body and then put you in a world perfectly designed for that experience.

Which is why the rescue of the soul takes place through our engagement with the real world. Thus the quote—variously attributed to Churchill, Will Rogers, and Reagan—that “The best thing for the inside of a man is the outside of a horse.” Because when we encounter an actual horse—not online, not through Instagram, not the little horse emoji on your phone, but a living, breathing, thousand-pound animal, we are thrust into a dynamic encounter with the real. It calls things out of us, not only fears, anger, and impatience to be overcome, but intuition and presence and a sort of firm kindness that no video game can ever replicate. There’s no switch you can flip; you must engage. Reality shapes us.


Action Item

Continue to create your new year and life vision (and creating your 300 list) by taking multiple opportunities throughout each day to touch a tree, breathe in the cold, warm or humid air, stare up into the sky and encounter one-on-one time with people--the most real and precious of all creation.


Heavenly Father, Thank you for creating a natural reality just for us. Thank you for the blessing of sun, wind, rain, grass, fresh air, snow, ice, trees, dirt and your most precious creation: people. Give us the discipline Lord, to minimize our time from the distraction of fake and shift our gaze to you and your glorious, perfect and life-giving creation. We are so grateful for you and all of your unconditional love for us. It is in your most precious and holy name, Amen.

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