BJ Rickard 8-21-11

Reality > 1. The quality or fact of being real 2. A person or thing is real; fact – in reality in fact; actually..

This is the definition of reality in Webster’s New World dictionary yet, is that your personal definition  of what  you believe to be your reality ? Probably not , more like >  work – school – jobs – family – friends – financial obligations – health concerns – just living life. That sounds a little closer to the mark than good old Webster’s Dictionary! Every one of us has their own particular definition and description of what real and reality is to them. If you have lived a life of financial freedom with maids and butlers and unlimited money, that is very real for you. It is all you know of this world. There are other types of lives and worlds that are just as valid and just as real as yours. Rich or poor or just getting by, all are very individual and most certainly they are very tangible and  “real “!!

What if you are born in a swamp ? For generations and generations your entire family lives and works and never leaves the swamp ? Your entire world and social structure is one of mud and water and mosquitoes. Snakes and alligators, things that can poke you , stick you , bite you ! The sun barley creeps through the tall thick lush trees of this wet land world. Your whole life and the way you see the world is based on this belief that the swamp in which you live is the only world there is . Why would a person think otherwise ? All you know , all you have , all that is so very tangible to you is nothing but swamp life in a swamp world. Even if you do not like it ! It is the only life you know there is, no change is possible!

If someone comes along and starts to talk about how there is more ?More? More what ?More land that is dry , more people that do not where rubber boots to keep their feet dry. Places that get full sun light all day long . No real danger to look out for. Instead of boats to get around the world , those folks use cars ! The ground is so dry and hard that a boat is useless and you must have a vehicle with rubber tires that can roll on the tough surfaces of the ground. No mud , no swamp ! Just imagine how foreign and strange that would be to a person who actually thinks the only reality there is , is a land called the swamp. Remember the definition above from Webster’s Dictionary , reality is what a person sees or believes to be factual ! Why would someone who has only the world of a swamp ever actually think that there might be a world that could offer so many positive things. That they would be so happy to visit such a place that they might even consider living in the new world of dry land. That they did not know even existed !, yet it sounds so much better than the world they only know.

Yet the swamp is real ! The dry land is just a place that is described to them. The monster we know or the negative energy we are use to. Seems to be easier to except rather than risking a monster or negative energy we have no actual knowledge of ! Why ? Fear of the unknown ? The thought that this new environment ,may be worse than the worst parts of the swamp ? Possibly  ??, Or is it about being comfortable in a world that you know and can live in? Is this more inviting than a world that is foreign to you ? Sure it is ! Something known and something that you are use to is always so much easier to except and to deal with than a mystery reality that someone says is yours for the taking !

Now let’s unfortunately switch some words around from living in a swamp to the following realities of some people. People just like you and me, people who may be under the impression that their particular world is the only world. That the only reality for them is what is listed right here !

A woman who is abused everyday by her husband…

A child that goes through abuse by an adult…

A person who lives each  day with pain …

A person that is suffering from drug or alcohol abuse…

A person who is unable not to gamble everyday…

Someone who lives alone without  any contact with others…

A person who has no home or enough food …

** Someone who has never known God , or even knows that Jesus loves them…

All of these and many more are very real worlds ! Think about how difficult it is for such a person described above to ever think that there is a world of love / peace / safety / and a loving Father who has no limits or boundaries to his grace and love for them ?  The fear they know , the pain they know is easier to live with than something so unusual and different. Day after day , year after year , one generation doing to the future generation what past generation did to the present generation !  Reality is what you see and feel and live in . To suggest that a person’s  entire life and all that they know is not “real “ ? To try and convince them with one visit to a church or one hour of scripture read from a Bible ? To suggest they listen to this radio show on the Internet for answers and salvation ? Does this really seem so easy to complete such a task as to show someone what they  think is the real world is merely just an entire life of bad living ?

To understand this “ SWAMP THEORY “  is to have some small portion of personal growth and enlightenment, as to each individual’s idea and perception of  what reality is ! When discussing the grace and love of Christ. Or even just trying to help someone to be engaged with God, you must take in account that person’s  perspective on what they believe to be real ! Is it a world similar to your own ? Or is it a world filled with turmoil and pain and suffering ?   To identify and understand this swamp theory is to understand why for some individuals the idea of trusting God ,and excepting Jesus is just too farfetched of an idea to grasp.   Unfortunately some may never come to terms with the idea that the world they know to be true is not actually the reality that God has planned for all of us.

Through example , prayer , faith and an unyielding knowledge of God’s grace .We can always try to show that what is perceived to be reality is not Christ’s reality for all of us……

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