A Check on Reality
Was My Train Really Delayed?
After a fruitful weekend with my friends from Cultural Influences Group, I arrived early at the platform where the train would take me home. The train arrived, I got on the train, found myself a comfortable seat, and looked forward to a smooth journey.
I saw the other passengers were like me, looking for their seats and settling down, and we all expected the train to leave soon (I did not talk to anyone, but I imagine they were like me). But as soon as my eyes caught the info on the screen, saying that the train would only depart in 37 minutes, I was frustrated: the train is here, I am sitting inside, why would the train be delayed? I wanted to look for a conductor and ask if it was true that the train was delayed, but no one was around. You all perhaps believe it was purely my wishful thinking, right? That the train IS delayed. Wait a moment, the train was moving. I felt it, and I saw the scenery outside was moving. Looking at my watch, I saw the train did depart on time, but the info on the screen remained “this train will depart at 15:08” (the picture below).
After a while, the screen info was corrected, the wrong delay info was no longer shown. And it triggers me to think: how often does the info on the screen fail to match the lived reality and how long does it take to have the info corrected, and can it be always corrected? Can it always catch up with the true reality?
On many occasions, Marsh, our inspirer, raised the question “What is Reality?”. He encouraged us to look for reality, to ask ourselves: “Are our views distorted?”, “Where is the reduction of the reality? “What part of reality is missing and completely unaccounted for?”
Following my little experience described above, I was pondering if there is anything in common about reality in our discussions.
For example (1) Reality exists by itself: whether the train departs on time or late, without my influence, it happens. (2) We need to look for reality: Though the real reality (if the train departs on time) was right there, still, I need to discern for myself what is real. It was the moving train and my watch that confirmed the reality I was living in. (3) Where is the distorted view? It was the misinformation displayed on the screen. (4) Check with the others, if our view is only true to us, but no one else, it could just be subjective: in my case, before I managed to talk to someone, I had the situation sorted out. (5) God is the centre of reality. In this train experience, He was in the centre of my lived perception, but not on the screen. On other occasions, it could be that the reality is on the screen: for instance, I got to know some of the Cultural Influencers friends online first, and they are true human beings, and we built our friendship through the screen, and that was real too.
Throughout the 7 hours train ride, the train did not only depart on time, but also arrived on time at the destination. And this time, the lived reality matched the screen reality, and I was happy, feeling relieved and going home without confusion or frustration. And I hope my little story triggers your curiosity as well, to do your Reality Check regularly and always keep in mind the biggest Reality God has described for us, that we are called to be His Sons and Daughters, and He is our Father.
We are no longer living in darkness, far from His presence. Might we all meet Him in reality!