by Ernest O’Neill
A great deal of our insecurity comes from the feeling we have that we’re “on our own”. Finally, after all we say about family and friends, colleagues and community, neigbours and relatives, peers and class-mates, we think of ourselves as “me against the world”. Although we don’t like the insecurity that this brings, we do like the freedom it appears to grant. As life goes on, the freedom seems to fade behind duties, responsibilities, and personal habits, but we are so convinced that we’re obviously on our own that our thought-patterns cannot move any other way. Besides, isn’t it obvious that we were separated from our mothers at birth and will be separated from the living at death ?
You’re More Than Just You !
But this is all wrong ! Even though we want to do what we want – even though we find it irksome to do what somebody else wants instead, we do often feel part of other people and other things. There are moments when we feel family unity, team spirit; there are times when we feel another person’s pain as our own. At times in the past we’ve looked up into the sky or down at a peaceful meadow and felt we were part of it. In many people, this has been turned into a kind of nature-worship or philanthropic humanism, but for all of us this sense of being part of something bigger than ourselves has lifted us momentarily into a higher level of living. Wordsworth, the English poet, puts it like this –
- “And I have felt a presence that disturbs me with the joy of elevated thoughts
- A sense sublime of something far more deeply interfused
- Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns, the blue sky, the round earth,
- and in the mind of man”–
- A motion and a spirit, that impels
- All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
- And rolls through all things.
You’re More than a Statistic
We may not express it in such poetic words, but there have been times in our lives when we’ve felt that we were part of the universe in an organic, integral way that connected us to everyone else. But, if we are practical, intellectual types, we are inclined to interpret this vague feeling as simply human consciousness that we are like everybody else.
Moreover, there are some things about this sense of being one with everyone and everything else that we don’t like. We certainly rebell against the “great leveller” attitude of communism or socialism where everything seems to end up at the lowest common denominator rather than the highest possible factor. We don’t like being treated as a cipher or a consumer statistic and we’ll wear anything – unusual clothes, jewelry, hairdo’s – to prove that we’re different. Despite the fact that we have this feeling of being part of everything else, we have a decided conviction that we are different individuals from everyone else. So, life often resolves into a long struggle to resolve this apparent contradiction within our own beings – we’re different, but we feel the same!
You’re Part of God
It is reality that causes all these feelings we have; they do, in fact, reflect reality. The truth is that you are part of the creator of the universe – not in the heretical sense of spiritualism or hinduism, but in the very real sense that our God explained by his Son in the first century of this modern era.
Here’s the way it was stated in a letter written by Paul to the people at Ephesus in 56 a.d.: “you are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus”. Other parts of the Bible confirm that “all things were created through him and for him; He is before all things, and in him all things hold together”. Most of us have felt ourselves utterly unconnected with this man Jesus Christ!
Most of us feel the religious people have a corner on this truth – we don’t really understand all their talk about forgiveness of sins and his crucifixion, but we do feel that it has nothing to do with us and our lives. The result is that we don’t feel entirely at ease when even his name is mentioned, and we certainly don’t feel that we have any connection with him whatever – nor do we want one.
Reality is You’re in God
But – whatever you may want or not want – reality is that your Creator made you inside his Son – long before you were ever born in your mother’s womb. We have difficulty with this because we think it implies some kind of pre-programmed life that eliminates our obvious free will. Or we get all wrapped up in defining creation in terms of our finite, human abilities rather than God’s infinite, divine abilities. The result is that we reject the great truth of reality because we cannot explain every detail of it – something that little creatures understandably cannot do unless they created themselves.
The simple fact is that our Creator sees everything in a milli-second of timelessness: when He conceived his only-begotten Son in before the world was created, He conceived that his Son would also be the “first-born of all creation” – the first, really the only, human being. He determined that he would be the “first-born among many brethren” – He made you at that moment in His Son – and His Son has continued to hold on to you through thick and thin. Everything you have done and said, your have done and said inside Christ. He has born the pain of all your errors, mistakes, crimes, immoralities, anger, sins, critical words, cruelties – and He has held on to you because your would cease to exist if you were once expelled from Him.
That’s why we have these feelings that we belong to each other. It’s also why we have these feelings that we are individuals – unlike everyone that has ever lived or will ever live. This is also why you feel you are important and valuable – because you are a part of the most valuable Person in the universe – God’s own Son, Jesus Christ. Believe it or not ! We’ll talk more about this in the next article.