My daughter, Shannon, when she was young, really wanted a guitar. I was a little skeptical at this newfound desire. We went into the music store and Shannon was struck by this one guitar and pleaded with me, “Dad, pleaeeeeeese, I want this guitar.” She said with her elfish grin, “I promise I’ll take care of it!” I remember telling her, “I don’t know Shannon, it’s a big commitment!” “I’ll take care of it dad, I promise. You’ll see.” Shannon has always had a way of winning me over and so I said yes and we bought the guitar and a new case. Shannon, put all these shinny stickers on the new case and was so proud of that guitar! She carried it everywhere she went. I remember telling her that she needed to learn some songs. “What” she said, “You mean I have to practice?”
Mark 10:23-24 (TNIV)
23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!
We all want “things”. We often feel like they define us and give us security. Truth is, I fall into that trap at times too. But here is the key, we MUST ALWAYDS BE CAREFUL that our “stuff” doesn’t distract us from our ultimate goal, the goal of eternal life with Jesus.
My daughter, Shannon, wanted a guitar because her sister and I played guitar. So, she wanted one too. She was distracted with “having” a guitar and wasn’t willing to put the time in to practice it and to learn to play so that she could meet her ultimate desire…….to play songs. Next….she wanted a drum set, LOL. Needless to say, we didn’t get her one.
We all struggle to get things, to get money, and we never really have enough, do we? Getting more requires hard work. Somehow, we believe that our happiness is tied to our wealth, or our “things”. Truth is it’s not. In fact, I have found that it is an illusion.
I own an “Alienware” laptop. It’s my workhorse. It’s also a very nice and prized laptop among gamers (of which I am not). I remember when I bought this laptop I couldn’t wait for it to arrive. I couldn’t wait to see it sitting on my desk. I couldn’t wait, I couldn’t wait, I couldn’t wait! Okay, now I have had it for a few years. All that “satisfaction” has worn off. Yes, it is a very powerful tool, but it isn’t a status symbol. Here is my point: “things” don’t create our happiness and fulfillment. What we do with them and how we share them does.
In the case of a guitar, it’s not the instrument but the songs we create and sing that brings us closer to others and creates fulfillment. In the case of my laptop, it’s now how cool it looks but how it enables me to study and write my devotionals and other things to share about God’s Word that brings me closer to others and brings ultimate fulfillment.
We, as Christians, live in this tension with money and “things”. Jesus, indeed God, recognizes that. We can never allow our wealth and our “stuff” to draw us away from our ultimate fulfillment. Jesus alone meets our ultimate needs for security and fulfillment. God’s kingdom, the kingdom of heaven, provides our true purpose. The more “stuff” we have and the more wealth we have, the more potential there is that we will allow it to take the place of Jesus in our lives. We have to be careful that we don’t start thinking that it is our wealth and “stuff” that defines us. Indeed, it is our relationship with Jesus that defines us!
What does Jesus want from us? He wants our heart! He wants our total dedication, not a halfhearted commitment. There is always a cost. With the guitar, it is practice, practice and more practice. But, with that practice, the rewards are great!
In our lives, practice, practice and more practice: practice in forgiveness, practice in surrender, practice in the art of not judging others, practice in the art of loving others, practice in honesty, practice in our relationship with Jesus. I think it’s funny how they say that “practice makes perfect”.
Focus on Jesus and allow nothing to distract you from the ultimate goal of eternal life with Him. “Practice makes perfect!”
I liked today’s tpic and prayer very much, Ty Jan and praise God.