Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Over the past 10 years or so "Reality TV" shows have dominated the airwaves. These shows are really nothing more than an escape from reality. Many of the stars of the show are placed into a spotlight they would otherwise have never been in and millions of Americans tune in each week to watch un-reality play out on their TV screens.
Unfortunately, many of us live as though life is Reality TV. At times it can be difficult to face reality. It's much easier to play the part than face the facts. It's easier to pretend that your marriage is in good shape than it is to face the reality that it is unraveling at the seams. It's easier to spend as though you have money in the bank than it is to face the reality that you are head over heels in debt. It's easier to look the other way when you see rebellion in your kid than it is to discipline your child and guide them toward right behavior.
A man named Nehemiah got a reality check when he received this news about his people: "They are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire" (Neh. 1:3). This is probably not what Nehemiah wanted to face, but it is what Nehemiah faced. This was his reality. My friend, Lester Hutson, used to say, "Things may not be what they seem, but they are always what they are."
Take some time to look around your life today- and look carefully. It is likely that areas of your life are broken down but you have not been facing the facts. The first step toward rebuilding what is broken down is to see things as they really are. Seeing what is broken down is just the first step to rebuilding, but your life can't be rebuilt without this critical step. So don't try to skip it. Look around you. Look for some stones on the ground. Stop escaping reality by denying the facts. Instead, face the facts and change your reality.
Beginning Sunday, Feb. 5 I will begin a series through the book of Nehemiah titled "Arise and Build." It is a story of courage. It is a story of faith. It is a story of hope. It is a story of rebuilding what is broken, and it is a story that changed a nation.