Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. Colossians 3:2
Easier said than done.
Who’s got time to sit around thinking about heavenly things when we’ve got so much going here on earth? We’re busy enough just making it from one day to the next.
Careers or joblessness, kids and their schooling, relationship or money stressors, postponed weddings and vacations, game nights and happy hours. Cancelled plans and pending decisions; illnesses and perhaps even the death of loved ones. Not to mention all of the worries outside of our own personal bubbles—COVID and prejudice and politics and climate change and terrorism and more.
Thankfully, there are plenty of good earthly things that absorb our time and attention as well. (Make a list right now: people and circumstances and simple day-to-day pleasures that bring you joy. If you come up with less than 10, think harder!)
But good or bad, these “things of the earth” are all so very temporary.
And it’s hard to look up when we are consumed by them.
When I was growing up—even through middle age—I rarely gave serous thought to “the things of heaven.” Nor did I care about local/national/world affairs: My thoughts were solely on myself, and making my way in the world.
The past year changed me. How about you?
I want to find that balance of keeping one eye on the world, but the other on eternity. In order to do so, I know that even in these busy times, I need to force myself to start my day with the guidance and peace that only comes from God. And so I begin with my devotionals and my S.A.P. that today led me right into an answer to my whining over the impossibility of living out the instructions in Colossians 3.
I was journaling furiously about it when I got an email ping and a link to a letter written 2000 years ago that tells us clearly, concisely and specifically how to live in this world today while keeping an eye on heaven:
Romans 12:9-13: “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.”
Wow, talk about a recipe for good living! And honestly, how can one be fussing about all of the things of this world in the midst of throwing heart and soul into doing what is called for in that passage?
Good morning, Father! Thank You so much for the insights that come when I delve into Your Word. I feel as if the first passage I read today set the tone and rationale for the second, and both combined to give me just what I need to chart my own path forward for You today. So I especially thank You for helping me set my sights on You in this tumultuous time.
Let me be a peacemaker, Lord, not one who riles others up with my own opinionated viewpoints. Increase my patience as You teach me to really love others. Let me be a good role model for my family and friends as I work for You enthusiastically, and share all of the blessings You’ve so generously given me.
Please guide my thoughts, words, and actions today and every day as I do my best to focus on Your bigger picture, spread hope, love abundantly, pray from the heart, and give You the glory for all of it. Amen!