I like things, pretty things, bake-ware. I like tidying, decorating and being domestic. I like my car. I like where I live, being comfortable. I like spending hours on ebay and pinterest and wanting. I like collecting books.
All of these things are good, not bad in themselves, but sometimes they become rather too important. They take my focus at the expense of other, better things. Like reading the bible and praying, meeting with people, encouraging others, giving money and being generous rather than spending and saving, dreaming instead of doing.
I’ve been challenged, lately, from MYC, from a couple of books I’ve been reading (in thinking about worship and idolatry). Sometimes I stop and realise, “What is actually different about my life, from my neighbours and colleagues? Is my faith in God evident in my life?”
I’m thankful for my position in being able to give up a few days of work to do ministry, because it’s a very obvious thing that is different to the world, something that many people don’t really understand. “You get paid for that?” But in about 6 months, I’ll most likely be going back to full time work, which is good, but I’ll find it much harder to stand out as a child of God amongst my family and friends.
Because, really, I get distracted and consumed with things of the world. One of the books I’m reading talked about how God reveals that he is to be first. The idea of firstfruits and giving the best, unblemished, rebuked me. My budget is not based around giving first and then other expenses. I am not good at sharing. My time is not spent serving others before myself. My prayer life does not reflect the relationship that God has bought me and brought me into. I do other things, and sometimes give God what is left (more often than not, I don’t give him anything more than a cursory, “thanks”).
It is so hard to give these things up. And perhaps not necessary (God knows that we need things and we do still live in the world). But often I think I live as though this world is it, forgetting what is to come. I shouldn’t forget (particularly as we look at Eccelsiastes at uni and Revelation in church) that this life is fleeting, a breath, a mist, vanity, and that Jesus is coming back to judge the earth.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:1-2
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” – Revelation 1:8