“This is a life rope. Grab on to it!! Get the red rope!”
“No, I’m an old person who can’t swim! I can’t get it!”
“No you’re not! You’re a kid who can swim. Swim to it!”
The kids were playing life boat rescue on their bunk beds. They both wanted to play rescue, but their ideas were not quite the same. He wanted her to be an active player, braving the swells of the ocean currents. She wanted to be passive, bravely awaiting her rescue. They each had their own ideas of ‘pretend reality’ in their creative little minds.
While listening to them from the other room, and saying a silent prayer that they would resolve this issue without my intervention, I realized how sadly realistic this form of play is.
We have friends who are existing in this same world that we live in, but they live in their own little realities. The past that still haunts. The future that frets the present. The persecution complexion that changes that color of every day. The Messiah complex that makes every situation a potential miracle in the making. It’s an exhausting existence. Squinting to see everything through the rose-colored glasses; rubber-necking to see who’s in peril; offering shoulders for everyone to cry on….or constantly seeking a shoulder for a cry.
Life is hard enough taken at face value. Jobs, family, bills, laundry… The struggles of day-to-day realities can be exhausting without added drama. I want to work at my job without hearing the latest gossip. I want to visit my child’s school without noticing whose parents are present or absent this week. I want to talk to friends and catch up on news without having seeds of doubt planted about the truth of their stories. I want to visit neighbors without being prodded for any codependent neediness.
So I choose to live in reality with people who live in this reality with me. I avoid the gossip circles and rumor mills. I speak truth and live transparently and hope that others do the same. I want my children to see their real mommy living a real life and accepting real circumstances, not jazzing up reality for a thrill or dreading reality and hiding from it. If my children are passive old people or active younguns, I want them to accept reality and follow our family lead of living in truth.
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
8 For God is my witness, how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ.