Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Escape From Reality

A couple of months ago I attended a Sunday School training and was in the group designated to learn about teaching teenagers.  At one point a question was raised by a participant that really surprised me.  He said "I don't understand why teenagers have their earphones in so much of the time listening to their iPod's.  Why do they do that?"  At this point the teacher of this training said "I don't know either"  What?  Are you kidding me?  We're in a group of people who work with teenagers either for a living or on a voluntary basis and nobody knew the answer.  I know that I should have answered but I didn't because I was kind of blown away at that moment.  The first thing I said to Belinda when we left was "the reason teenagers keep their earphones in so much is because it is an escape from reality".  I can personally relate that when I've had a hard day or been enduring a stressful season, I put my earphones in to escape from reality as well.

So then a month later Belinda and I were finally took our vacation.  It had seemed like an eternity since we had time off from work and were able to get away for just us.  We went to Disney World, which is always a blast, but we went this time because it was an escape from reality.  As I have mentioned before this has been one of the toughest years of our lives and this offered us a temporary escape from the realities of the pains and stresses that we deal with day in and day out.  We knew coming back that we would once again have to face the reality of these things in our lives, confront them, and move forward with God's guidance.  But what I have come to observe is that there are many people today who make major efforts to live in a permanent escape from reality.  I like to call that "living for ourself instead of living for God".  Jesus was very clear in Luke 9:23 when He said that we would have to deny ourselves in order to follow Him.  When we have self-righteous, self-centered desires in life then we are living for ourselves instead of living for God.

I'm not saying it's bad to have an escape from reality as long as it meets the following standards/requirements:  1) It does not violate Biblical standards; 2) It is not permanent causing us to be more self focused and less God focused; 3) Through the escape we are seeking God to restore us.

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