Saturday, September 23, 2017

Reality Check

June 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Daily Manna, Monthly Articles

A few Sundays ago I drove to a local park located just a few minutes from our home. The lookout tower there provides a spectacular view of the landscape for miles in every direction, so I brought my Bible and climbed to the top.

As you would imagine, my devotion there consisted of much more than just reading a few chapters of Scripture. Between verses I took time to enjoy the constant breeze blowing in from the north and did my best to take in the simple beauty of God’s creation before the sun finished setting off to my right. It was one of those moments when all my problems and worries seemed to melt away, and I couldn’t even begin to pray about those things without God hushing my spirit and reminding me, “Don’t think about that stuff right now; just enjoy this moment here with Me.”

I could see a small farmhouse in the distance, and suddenly it occurred to me that, of all the houses in my view, some no doubt housed families stricken by divorce, cancer, or the death of a loved one. Even though my life seemed perfect in that moment, it wasn’t, and neither was that of anybody else in the world. The world around me was still broken by sin and filled with hurting people and excruciating circumstances. I may have been 100 feet above all of my neighbors, but nobody is above their humanity.

Yet despite this realization, something told me life is about more than all of that. As I sat in awe of a landscape many thousands of years old, I caught a glimpse of eternity that put my temporary, earthly problems into perspective. Of course that’s not to say God doesn’t care about my health or finances. I believe He does, but it’s convicting to think we often allow something as simple as rush hour traffic or rising gas prices to steal our Christian joy.

“And [Jesus] said unto His disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.   The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.”

              –Luke 12:22-23

What does Jesus mean when He says our life is more than food and our body more than clothing? He means there’s more to our existence than what is seen. If our physical life is sustained by food, which we’re here being told not to worry about, then can you imagine what Christ might have to say about some of the worries we entertain in this 21st century?

“Take no thought for material things. Things of eternal value cannot be purchased.”

“Don’t stress about retirement. Success isn’t measured by the size of your 401(k).”

“Don’t worry about your popularity. True acceptance is found in Me, not via Facebook.”

The fact is, we can control very few of the things we often worry about and even fewer of them are as important as we’d like to believe they are. We shelter ourselves with insurance policies and security systems, never realizing how much time we invest building up (or wishing for) a false sense of security in a world that is simply not our home.

I believe God is calling His people today to set their sights on eternity – to “stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1) Satan would love nothing more than to distract us from the race we’ve been called to run with trivial things, but may we instead seize this opportunity to renew our commitment to Christ and those things which truly matter. Only then can we hope to avoid the tragedy of a wasted life.

Dakota has been writing since 2009 when he started sharing frequent devotionals on the now-popular blog, “A Look at Life from a Deerstand.” As a lover of both God and the great outdoors, his goal is to share Christ with his readers in a way that is easy to understand while encouraging the saint and seeker alike to explore the truths of Scripture on their own. He is currently authoring an e-book, “In the Cool of the Day”, which is scheduled to release in 2012 and resides with his family in St. Louis, Missouri.

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