She sat quietly going through the file and that further heightened my anxiety. She noticed my discomposure and inquired whether I was okay. I feigned ignorance of her observation and tried to calm myself by forcing my mind to drift to other issue of life but it refused, rather wanting to dwell more on the issue at hand and my hands kept on shaking and my heart’s beat unrhythmed. One of the persons seated at the conference hall came in to tell her they were ready and then she handed over to me the file she was reading. Without looking at its content, I brought out my pen to sign the duplicate copies of my termination letter, determined not to be like Mr. Ehioze, not to give her and everyone else the satisfaction of seeing me in despair. Then she said “… you want to make the corrections here and now”… “Why didn’t you send in your corrections as soon as you got the mail and the speech?” I tried to hide my confusion but I knew it would not help because of the next thing she said … “look Mr. Gwamezioku, I apologize that the notice was short, the news of the loss of Mr. Ehioze’s wife’s pregnancy came after the conference was fixed and the title of the opening speech meant for him announced but it’s just a speech and from yesterday close of work when you were selected and the mail sent to you till this morning should have been a enough time to prepare…am I right?” it was at that moment, I realized how efficiently cold the Air-Conditioner had made the room. So I looked at the file now and saw the title of the speech…“Creativity; A Reality to Career Upliftment”
My fears have been misguided but thankfully allayed. “Oh my God…” I said to myself. I had created a reality and believed in it; I had seen Mr. Ehioze’s predicament and created a reality for myself that he has lost his job and that is why he was crying and it was Mrs. Okocha that was responsible. “Oh my God” the reality I created had tortured me all day. I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders, but a sense of shame at my foolishness.
As I stood before everyone at the conference room, my mind digging deep into the word reality, its meaning seemed obscure and fading and I wondered; what is reality? What is real? We consider what we can see, touch, feel, smell as real because they form our perception of truth. To us, the truth is real. So the question, do you see the car for the travel parked at the garage? The “Truth” is that you can see it because it is real. There is a similarity and relationship between the Truth and reality and because you can see the car meant for your travelling, you start packing your things to travel. Imagine if you cannot see it, will you pack your things?
Also directly related to the Truth and reality are our actions and inactions. We behave and take certain decisions based on our reality which we have taken as the truth because it is what we can see, smell, taste, touch, etc. For instance, at the smell of a well cooked and delicious meal at a restaurant, our mouths salivates, we reach for our wallets and purses to pay because we believe a truth that the food is delicious.
What about the things we cannot see, smell, touch, taste, etc? Are they also truths? Can they form the basis of one’s reality? Can you take decisions and actions based on them? Can one’s life be lived on them?
In Genesis 12:1, Abraham was told to get out of his father’s house, away from his people and away from his country on the instruction of One whom he did not see and cannot see. Did he? Verse 4 of Chapter 12 said he did. He obeyed the instructions of the One he could not see, believed that instruction to be the truth and then acted on it by actually packing and departing. Abraham lived in a reality that no one could see nor hear.
What about Noah? In Genesis 6:13 the One he could not see told him that what has never happened will happen and then told him what to do next. Did Noah obey? Verse 22 of Chapter 6 said he did. He too obeyed the instructions of the One he could not see, believed that the instruction was the truth and then acted on it by actually building the Ark. Noah lived in a reality that no one in his time could see nor hear and was mocked for it.
What about Moses, living in the reality of the words from the voice from the Burning Bush; what about Elijah living in the reality of the one who promised to do what cannot or has never happened before, that is, fire coming down from heaven to burn a sacrifice; what about peter whose reality of walking on water was by a simple reply to his request, “come”?
So it is possible to live in a reality we cannot see, smell, touch, taste. What is that reality called? It is called Faith Reality. Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as the substance of the things hoped for, evidence of the things not seen. So you do not see it, you hope for it and believe it that it is real (substance). These raise three questions;
1. Who can live in/with this reality? The answer is in Galatians 3:11 “But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, the just shall live by faith.” So only the just shall be able to live by this reality.
2. The 2nd question is who is the just? Romans 8:30 says “Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” So the Justified Man is the one God says is justified, God is the one that justifies a Man.
3. The third question is how does God justify a Man? Rom 10:9 says “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
Like the other physical reality, you need to see something, or else it will be aimless staring. So what does Faith reality hope on? Matthew 4:4 says But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” So the Faith Reality hopes on God’s word and then Romans 8:14 say “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” And also the Faith Reality hopes on the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit.
So what is your reality? The Physical reality comes with so much troubles, deceit, heart aches, pain, strife, disappointments and deaths but the faith reality comes with Only good reports; Hebrews 11:2 “For by it the elders obtained a good report.”