This is the fifth in the series, “Who Will Name Reality?” This week Tim offers a reality check.
Is Perception Reality?
While I read the Gospel lection for last week, Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52, I was thinking about the phrase, “perception is reality.” I think that most people think their perception is correct, on most, if not on all issues.
The reality is our perceptions are way off…our perceptions are often not reality.
The scriptures help us see reality, especially in regard to relationships and spirituality. In this parable, maybe all the parables in Matthew’s gospel, names reality within his context.
Taking that truth, we can name reality as well.
Matthew has Jesus’ parables here to help us with our perceptions, which may not be reality. Jesus said the kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, yeast, treasure in a field, etc.
There is a story that Thomas Wheeler, CEO of the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, tells on himself.
He and his wife were driving along an interstate highway when he noticed that their car was low on gas. Wheeler got off the highway at the next exit and soon found a rundown gas station with just one gas pump.
He asked the attendant to fill the tank and check the oil. He then went for a little walk around the station to stretch his legs.
As he was returning to the car, he noticed that the attendant and his wife were engaged in a conversation. The conversation stopped as he paid the attendant.
But as he was getting back into the car, he saw the attendant wave and heard him say, “It was great talking to you.”
As they drove out of the station, Wheeler asked his wife if she knew the man. She admitted she did. They had gone to high school together and had dated for about a year.
“Boy, were you lucky that I came along,” bragged Wheeler.
“If you had married him, you’d be the wife of a gas station attendant instead of the wife of a chief executive officer.”
His wife replied, “My dear, if I had married him, he’d be the chief executive officer and you’d be the gas station attendant.”
Perception is not always reality.
How does Jesus help us name reality?
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