One of my favorite movies is an old Robert Duvall picture called Tender Mercies. Great story of an alcoholic country western star who hits bottom hard, finds Christ and a woman who loves him, gets his life back together. Anyhow, the theme song of the film has stayed with me for years. The central line being, "The hardest thing...for me to face...Reality."
Ain't it the truth?
Which got me to thinking about TS Eliot's line, "Humankind cannot stand very much reality."
You know how this works. Are you still praying for Haiti? What do you even remember about 9-11? You watch a film about starving children and everything in you intends to help but three weeks later it's gone. There are things about your own life you get a glimpse of - something in your thought life you'd better get a hold of, something in your marriage you'd better face, something about your health or your finances - and three days pass and it's gone.
The hardest thing, for us to face, Reality.
It's the old trying to find our way back into Eden thing. We just want life to be good. This RULES us. (You are aware, aren't you, of how much this rules you???) We avoid the disturbing or demanding parts of reality as a matter of daily practice. We just want life to be good.
Which got me thinking about Elie Wiesel's book, "Night." It is his harrowing personal account as a Jew in eastern Europe when the Nazi's came in, and eventually sent him to concentration camp. Early in the book Wiesel describes how the Jews reacted to the encroaching Nazi threat. First, windows of Jewish businesses would be broken. "This will pass," they said. Jews were thrown out of business. "This will pass," they said. Jews were bullied and beaten. Forced to wear the yellow star. "This will pass," they said. Jews were rounded up and confined in a locked "ghetto" part of town. "This will pass." Jews were taken away, and when one escaped and returned to tell what he saw, about their brutal execution in the forest, I kid you not, the Jews said, "This will pass."
They just refused to face reality.
The first time I read this I thought, "Impossible! How could this happen? How could they be so naive??!"
It's a good thing we don't let this happen.
Especially not with spiritual warfare. We face that head on, and deal with it, daily.
Or do we?