“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your heart on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things”— Colossians 3:1-2 (NIV).
“O Lord,” I cried out, “be with him in this heat. And Lord, if He doesn’t know you personally, please place someone in his path who can lead him to You.”
My prayers were for a man who was striding across the bank’s parking lot toward a large grocery store. What stirred my heart to pray for him was the heavy backpack he was toting and the sweat pouring down his face. In my heart, I was almost certain he was homeless.
As I drove away from the bank, I thought about the backpack weighing him down in the triple-digit heat. Was he toting all his worldly possessions with him? What was his story? Why was he out in the daytime heat? Where was he headed?
Where Our Heart Leads Us
Our hearts can lead us astray when we value worldly things over a relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s so easy to be seduced by today’s latest gadgets which can distract us from a simple life lived for Him.
While I confess to owning a smartphone, I desire a simpler life. I avoid downloading apps that waste my time and money. Even then, I can still get caught up in time-wasting videos and posts on social media if I’m not careful.
But it’s not just new gadgets that can lead us down the path of worldliness. We’re constantly bombarded with commercials and advertisements enticing us to spend our money on things we don’t need.
Avoiding the Lure of More
How can we avoid the siren song of spending our hard-earned money on things that are not eternal? How can we simplify our lives and live free of worldly goods distracting us from God’s Kingdom?
Recently, I read a devotional about simplifying our lives. The author mentioned his own struggles with technology and buying things he didn’t need. As he wrote about having a simpler life, he recalled his favorite family memories as being the times they had to do without.
He remembered a time when his son’s favorite video game player died, and they spent an afternoon together building a log cabin out of popsicle sticks. Then, there was the time their dishwasher broke down, forcing them to handwash the dishes. He wrote, “It turned into a great family bonding time. Surprisingly,” he added, “those are the times I felt closest to God, too.”
Feeling Closer to God
The devotional about simplifying our lives led me to recall my own memories. There have been times when I’ve had to hand wash dishes. Instead of complaining, I enjoyed watching the birds outside my window feasting on the seeds I’d put out for them. I didn’t miss my dishwasher at all.
I recall a simple childhood, void of electronics, but filled with neighborhood games and running through the sprinklers on hot, humid days. Then, there were other times when I hid in the branches of a Mimosa tree to be alone and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature.
We can fritter our life away on earthly things, or we can choose to set our hearts and minds on things above. In light of eternity, living a simple life leads us to the very throne of our Heavenly Father, where Jesus Christ is seated at His right hand.
After a 30-year teaching career, Carol Round found redirection as a Christian columnist, author and inspirational speaker. She is the author of nine books, all available at Amazon.com. See her website at www.carolaround.com for more information.