I have a confession: I am overwhelmed.
I am overwhelmed by the myriad choices in almost everything available to the consumer these days. There are so many options for everything from cars to cell phones, shoes, and peanut butter that I just about get paralyzed when I have to shop for anything. When I get through the first cut and decide on a brand, then I have to choose a color, service provider, high top or low top, and whether I want creamy or chunky. I am pretty sure these are standard options for everything on the market today.
And what about where to get news, education, or health care? I can’t even count the number of theology flavors available today. Who do you trust in it all?
It is no wonder I have trouble focusing and making decisions. I feel stressed and worn-out from it all.
But the Lord has something much better in mind for us. He would not have us pulled in a thousand different directions, spending precious time on what are not really necessities. We would do well to reconsider setting ourselves up to have to make so many choices in the first place. Rather than being caught up in the rampant consumerism ruling the day, we should consider where to really focus our attention and let the Lord guide us to what is truly important.
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” (Col. 3:1-2).
Focusing Our Attention
There is great contrast between what is here below and what is above. The things of earth are marked with man’s fingerprints, tainted with the notion that he can make this world better simply by employing his intellect, will, and whatever power he may possess. Mankind is constantly conjuring up new political, social, and cultural plans to make the earth more habitable and peaceful. Yet it is strange how no scheme is ever derived that quite gets the job done and how we are constantly reminded by world leaders of our continued failures and the dire consequences ahead if we do not take drastic action to change now!
God is left out of the equation by those of the earth. This horrendous omission can only lead to failure; Christ on the Cross is proof of that.
In the end, all mankind can come up with is just more options. No peace – just more tension, stress, and fatigue. And the mass of humanity simply seems worn-out from it all.
But what is above? First and foremost, our Lord and Savior is there, sitting at the right hand of God – His rightful place. He is sitting, so we know there is rest to be found there. He is near to God, and where He is we shall be as well; spiritually, we are already there. Joy and pleasure are found in nearness to God, in a measure the things of the earth can never provide (Ps. 16). Our hope is found in Jesus Christ, so our hope will be found where He is and our hearts will surely follow.
These things are not found here on earth, but above.
A wise friend once told me, “I may not always be able to control what others try to put in front of my eyes, but I can control where I let my eyes fall.” Surely, what the eyes see will attract the heart.
There is much to attract us here on the earth, but our peace will only be found in focusing on the things above. The things below are fleeting and a trap ready to ensnare the peace that should be the possession of every Christian. But above is rest, peace, joy, and hope.
May each of us find greater vision and focus for our Christian walk today.