By Ernest O'Neill

Addiction to Unreality

By Rev. Ernest O'Neill

But we don't often think of God in a loving, kind, trusting way except when all the other systems break down and we have nowhere to go. When a person dies, when the circumstances end up in disaster, or we lose the job, then of course we do turn to him.

It's sweet at that time because something real comes into your life. Many of us have had the most realistic times at the time of the death of a mom or a dad or a dear one. For that moment, the whole artificial life-support system falls away and we see it's useless. We turn to the real source of life and we go smoothly for a while. But it lasts a day or two days or a week and then you're back on to the artificial life-support system of this world.

What we have been saying over the past few weeks is that this has actually had an effect on our own personalities. It has perverted them. It's actually perverted our personalities. We have been going this way, (Rev. O'Neill points to a diagram) not only during your lifetime. Your dad was going this way, your mom was going this way, your great grandfather was going this way, your great great grandparents were going this way, your great great....right back to Adam. We have centuries of inbreeding so that we human beings don't any longer have the personality that God gave us. It doesn't even operate the way he meant it to operate.

We have developed within us a deviate kind of strain of humanity whose personality is utterly enslaved to the things we depend upon. It's all so self-evident. You know it fine well. You determine that you will no longer suffer the resentment and the pain and the anxiety that you suffered last week. You were preoccupied with what people were saying about you in the office. They talked about you, and they criticized you. You had some sleepless nights and then you determined over the weekend, "I am not going to live under the fear of man. I am not going to live dominated by what other people think of me. I am not going to be spoiled by their criticism."

You then try it and you know the struggle. It's as if you are opposing reality. You're actually not opposing reality. You're opposing unreality. But unreality has become so real in our fallen world that it seems like a rock that you cannot move. You go to bed at night and you think I am not going to think of what they're saying. I am not. Then you go to the office next day and you think, "Whether he smiles at me or not, I don't care. Whether she criticizes me or not, I don't care. I will be balanced and I will act from a heart of peace." You know the battle you have.

You just have to cry out, "The good that I would, I cannot do."

It's as if you inside, say, "I depend on you Lord." But your whole being is saying, "I depend on you world. I depend on you things. I depend on you job. I depend on you circumstances." That's the situation most of us find ourselves in. It's not that any of us don't want to do good. It seems we all want to live right. We all want to live the right way and there's something inside that witnesses that is the right way to live. But when we try to live that way, it seems impossible. Some of us say, "The fates are against me, the whole universe is operating against me." We feel our whole nature is operating against us. And actually that is dead right.