As I pushed the cart through the store, glancing from my list to the aisle description signs, I managed to locate the items one by one-- but not without a bit of a distraction. You see, as we walked in the store, it seemed that my brother was dead set on getting doughnuts. There was just something about them, he wanted them-- bad. I just laughed when he mentioned them when we first walked in the store. "Sorry, no-- those things are terrible for you." But he didn't give up. He kept talking about them. As I searched for capers, he said, "Look, you just passed right by the doughnuts!" I didn't see them, but I had been distracted. I gave him my signature sarcastic grin, "Uh huh... nice try."
"No, Amy, seriously, we don't do this all the time-- let's just have a treat just this once...please?"
I shook my head, "No, it's turning into that we do do this all the time-- it's no longer 'just this once', we gotta cut back. No more extra sugar." I went back to my search for capers.
He still didn't give up. A couple minutes later, "You just passed by them again!" I stopped, turned and looked at him, "Really? I've been searching this entire store for the stuff on my list and I haven't seen any doughnuts!" He giggled and pointed, "Look, right there." I looked. Sure enough, I had just passed by them. I was too busy getting the other items on my list to notice.
I had a mission, my little brother had an agenda. Our perspectives, based on that which was most important to us, tinted the way that we looked at the store. Mine was to get everything that we needed for dinner that night and the next couple of days, his was to convince me to get a treat for those of us that had to stay home from the Farmer's Market.
This reminds me of the Christian walk.
"Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ Jesus, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on the earth." ~Colossians 3:1-2
As believers, we have been raised up with Christ-- we are no longer slaves to sin, groping about the earth to find purpose and meaning. We are the children of God, we have been given a mission to carry out before He calls us home. It is this mission that should tint the way that we look at the world-- not as a home that should bring us pleasure, meaning, and happiness, but as a mission field in which ours is to make known the saving power of our Lord Jesus Christ. Home is eternity, we'll be there soon enough.
It's easy to get caught up in the world's crazed quest for pleasure and happiness. There are Christians that do it all the time. The mad dash for the most money, nicest clothes, biggest house, coolest music, most mind-blowing movies, most popular Facebook account is contagious. But it is so important that we remember who we are in Christ. In Christ, we have no need for the world's "treats". Is it wrong to sometimes have them, every once in a while? I don't think so. However, we must make sure that they are the exception and not the rule. The rule is that we would be sold out for Jesus, fixing our eyes upon Him-- the Author and Perfecter of our faith, that His mission would be our mission, that His marching orders ever foremost in our minds.
This is something that I struggle with, even throughout my average day at home. Sometimes I get so caught up in my own agenda, what I want to get done today that I miss what God may have been requiring of me. I may have been so focused on getting this job done, that I forget about the job that He may have wanted me to get done.
If my eyes are fixed on Jesus and His mission for me, if the world falls apart around me, I will not be shaken. But if my eyes are on the world, searching it for those pleasures or purpose, I will fall apart right along with it.
Be encouraged, my dear readers, keep your eyes on Jesus, set your minds on the things above-- keep your perspective in check, and you will not fall.