This morning, at approximately 8am, a man was blowing a rape whistle on the corner of Clark and Randolph. He was holding a sign proclaiming the evils of the government and that they had violated him by refusing to give him his veterans’ benefits.

This morning, at approximately 8am, I was buying a doughnut at the corner of Randolph and Dearborn. I was with my friends celebrating Brynna the RA’s birthday, and we went to this (literal) hole-in-the-wall place in the Loop before finals. 

My life looks very different from that man’s street corner in Daley Plaza. In fact, looking around on the crowded train platform and shuffling down the street, I see a lot of people whose lives are different than mine. I wonder who they are and where they’re going, and whether or not they have someone in their life telling them the great news that Jesus is real and work doesn’t have to be meaningless.

I was thinking about this while riding back to campus on the El. I have a strange relationship with the Big City: I don’t quite fit in here, but I enjoy living here for now and the community I am a part of. I don’t see myself really staying here after graduation, but I love taking advantage of what this city has to offer a transient resident. Living in this current reality of the Big City has taught me much, and God has grown me in a way that will always leave this place an especially marked and revisited section of my story. The city has contributed to my life. Yet, there’s a higher, spiritual Reality as well.

Real Life is in Christ. That is the true reality, and that is the present reality for me. Because I am unified with Christ as part of the body of  believers, I am a new creation (2 Cor 5:17). For those who don’t know him, their life is a struggle, a veil pulled over their eyes as they seek to find satisfaction and meaning. They yearn for something that they can’t put their finger on. They have not been filled and transformed by Christ. Not knowing Jesus is a whole other reality.

The question is, am I living this out? Do I live like Jesus an idea, or is he real? Do I really believe that what I really believe is really real? 

I think a lot of Christians aren’t living abundantly because we forget who Jesus is and what he’s done. We get bogged down in things that don’t matter, and we lose sight of the magnanimity of this reality: Christ! He has changed us, and we are different! 

I know we can’t see it all quite yet; after all, we aren’t in heaven and Jesus isn’t face-to-face here (1 Cor 13:12). We know, however, that we have a forerunner, an anchor of hope (Heb 6:19). Christ results in a new reality for us here and now. 

See those living without him. Wrestle in prayer, Understand the new reality. Thank him for the transformation.