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Day 64: Living Daily in Reality: Work of Getting or Giving

by Ernest O'Neill

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So you are here for the Creator's son to complete his Father's creation through you. In this process both you and the planet will yield to his will for them - even though it may only be completed in the cataclysm foreshadowed in Paul's statement that the "world is crucified to me and I to the world". This enigma is becoming more understandable as our quantum physicists point to the possibility of some kind of parallel universe where time and space are relative.

The same truth was revealed in the Biblical letter to the Ephesians in 64 A.D. - "for we are God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works which God has prepared beforehand that we should walk in them". Your work is not the slavish, unpleasant toil we have made it by our atheism - "in the sweat of your face you shall eat bread". It is the glorious work that your Maker has given you to "be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it". The way you multiply and are fruitful and fill the earth and subdue it will be different from everyone else because you are unique: you are here for your Maker's son to be and do something that he is and does in no other human-being that has ever lived.

All of us have sensed at times an intuitive urge which we usually attribute to something like conscience or heredity and most of us have experienced a strength that seems to come from somewhere other than ourselves, so the fact that our maker's son is within us does not seem impossible. Moreover all of us have found that we face two strong urges if we see someone drowning - an urge to dive in and save - but also an urge not to risk our own lives. This is the meaning and purpose of our existence and the works we are given to do - either we let God's Son live in us or we crucify him and become his enemy.

Because of our self-centredness we easily misinterpret Christ’s spirit within us as our socially formed conscience or we see our desire to avoid danger as simply self-preservation, but our nature becomes increasingly warped out of shape until it is utterly carnal and dominated by the world around us. The enemy outside overcomes the friend inside so that we cannot do the good we want, but instead do what we do not want. The more we struggle to free ourselves, the more we sink in our own selfishness. Only our Maker's son within us can free us by his activity!

Broadly speaking, the works we face expose our dominant desire to get and offer us the chance to let Christ give. So our choice of a career exposes our desire to get and provides a chance to give. If we are practical atheists we are committed to providing the food, clothes and shelter which we'll need in this life, so money is an important factor in our career plans. If we are practical theists we'll be preoccupied with what we can give to the world. As we pursue our training and our career our nature becomes increasingly warped out of shape or becomes increasingly shaped by the spirit of our Creator within us - while our needs are met incidentally along with many of our wants.

The results in our world are evident in times like the 2008 recession - bankers who are meant to keep people's money safe and lend it to others at reasonable interest become preoccupied with getting more and more money along with investment bankers who are meant to finance businesses so that more jobs and incomes are created. So the development and subduing of the world that Christ in us is here to do doesn't occur; instead, the world's resources are diminished and stocked away unused by the few who accumulate them. Thus the acquisitive nature dominates families and nations so that greed and anxiety and frustration take hold of men's hearts and minds. The result is a society and world that becomes increasingly comatose and moribund and lacks the lively activity of the Maker's son and his brothers and sisters.

It all starts or turns around with you and me.

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