Wake. Eat. Work. Sleep. Repeat.
In the midst of our daily routines, our perspectives can get muddled. It’s easy to get caught up in what the world has to offer -- buying the latest gadgets, staying up with the current clothing trends, moving into a bigger and better house, ditching the “old” car for a brand new one -- it goes on and on. None of these things are bad in and of themselves -- it’s really about where our hearts are when we make these decisions. However, I am learning to ask myself some questions before I impulsively jump into something that might not be God’s will:
"Can I take this to heaven with me?"
"Can this bring glory to God?"
"Is this a need? Or a want?"
"Can I use this money to bless someone else instead?"
About two years ago, David and I decided we wanted to move somewhere with a little acreage. We dreamed of sitting on a big, wraparound porch at sunset while watching the boys run around and explore. So we contacted the realtor we used when we bought our current house. We wanted to know what our current house was worth so we could decide if this was a good move or not. And of course, being in the current Denver market, our home had appreciated enough that we would make a great profit by selling our home. Unfortunately, that meant we would have to buy a home that had also appreciated and would cost a lot more per month… like double our current payment. Yikes.
Long story short… We looked at hundreds of homes off and on for the past two years. No joke. We even put an offer in on one and backed out because it didn’t seem right. Every amazing home we went into never felt right, even if it checked all our boxes.
The more we looked, the more depressed we got. Literally depressed.
Then a few days ago, my “One Year Bible” took me to Ecclesiastes for that day’s reading. Now I realize this book is a little different than the others in the Bible. It is meant to be more of a look at what our lives would be WITHOUT God (meaningless). However, God definitely spoke to me through a couple of verses. One in particular was Ecclesiastes 6:9, “Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless—like chasing the wind.” (NLT)
I don’t think our hearts were wrong in the first place of wanting to move and enjoy a little more land for the boys. However, the more we looked, the higher our budget got, the more boxes we had to check, and I suddenly became a kitchen snob!
Ecclesiastes 5:10-11 says, “Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness! The more you have, the more people come to help you spend it. So what good is wealth—except perhaps to watch it slip through your fingers!” (NLT)
This is true not just of money, but of any material possession. No matter how much we have, is it truly ever enough? We keep trading up for better, hoping this next THING will make us happy.
David and I finally came to the conclusion that God wanted to shut the door on us looking at homes. Once we contacted our realtor and told her we were backing off for now, we were so happy. Giddy! THAT felt right. The depression was gone. We knew we did what God wanted us to. And we don’t feel that that the past two years were wasted, either. We learned a lot, we got a lot of home projects completed, and we decluttered a lot. Most of all, it taught us to be content. When it’s time to move to a different house, God will make it really clear to us.
We can’t take our money or material possessions with us to heaven. Why do we spend SO much time researching, shopping for, obsessing over, cleaning, and protecting these “precious treasures”?
What can we take with us to heaven? Nothing. What can we SEND AHEAD to heaven? Anything of eternal value... Telling people about Jesus. Secretly blessing someone. Spending time with the Lord. Raising our kids in His ways. Putting others before ourselves. Choosing humility. Being Christlike. These gain eternal rewards.
We need to keep our lives in perspective. Our lives are but a tiny dot on the line of eternity. Colossians 3:2 says, “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” (NKJV) Romans 8:18 says, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (NKJV) Let these verses encourage you… This place is NOT our home! We are just passing through. This life truly is short, compared to eternity. Let’s choose wisely how we will be good stewards of all the gifts, talents, money, possessions, and people God has put in our care during our time here.