The Reality We Choose

As I see social media posts and read stories and blogs, I grow more convinced that we choose our own reality. As Father Richard Rohr expressed, “People with a distorted image of self, world, or God will be largely incapable of experiencing what is Really Real in the world. They’ll see instead what they need reality to be.”*

Every one of us does this, as I can attest from personal experience. It seems to be a preset condition. There are a lot of rewards in it, not the least of which is imagining a cornerstone of truth upon which to stand and make assumptions. Unfortunately, the reality we choose, and the real reality, are often two different things.

This is played out, most mind-bogglingly for me, in the church. The very institution that is supposed to be the vanguard of the kingdom of God breaking into the world is the same one that continues breaking itself up by splitting into different branches, each of which thinks it’s earned the Jesus seal of approval. The same thing happens on the local level. A new policy? A new program? A change in staff? If it’s something that’s major, the first reaction is often defensiveness.

We react emotionally when we feel our security or identity threatened. Our religiosity may be tinged with a bit of self-regard that interferes with God-regard. But shouldn’t the church be Jesus-driven?

We can move closer to following him if we stop and ask ourselves a question when we’re presented with something new or shocking: “What’s the other side of the story?” If we asked that and pursued it, no telling where it would lead. It might open up possibilities that make us question our reality-of-choice. There may be good reasons and eye-opening experiences behind whatever it is we’ve encountered. Maybe even new relationships will be formed to go along with new understandings.

We church folk need to seek what’s Really Real. “What’s the other side of the story?” is a simple beginning. Maybe it will lead to encountering Jesus in a new way. After all, there was a reason the early church made the ego-shattering Sermon on the Mount its benchmark for discipleship.

*From Father Rohr’s Daily Meditations, March 11, 2024.

2 thoughts on “The Reality We Choose”

  1. Wise. We Christians certainly have our issues. Seeing both sides hard but usually clears up w time. Wishing you and yours a happy Easter. Let’s continue seeing both sides.

  2. This certainly hit the nail on the head at my church. The minister was told he would be leaving after requesting time off. Other staff were also let go. I know I’m supposed to follow Jesus and not the preacher but I am grieving. I don’t know the other side of the story and am forced to make up stories in my head.


Leave a Comment