Here’s another “winner” from the annuls of Dear Amy…. the woman writes how she is extremely happy with a husband who cares for her in every way, helps around the house, is loving, compassionate and considerate, EXCEPT (here it comes)- he doesn’t want her parents to pay for a big wedding.
They’re already married! They had a civil ceremony because at that time they couldn’t afford the big, glitzy wedding, which he is willing to do, once they save up their money. He wants to foot the bill himself and not have her parents pay for it. She is upset that he won’t let her parents pay for the big wedding she wants to have now.
OK- let me get this straight: you have a wonderful marriage with a wonderful mate, but without a “big” wedding ceremony you feel like you are missing out. Is that it? Do I have that right?
Yet, this is what America is all about now, isn’t it? Having the most, being the best, owning the biggest, more, more, more and… of what? More of what the moth eats? More of what the rust destroys? More of what will not work in a couple of years? Do you really need to pay thousands of dollars for a dress that you will wear for a few hours then will end up encased in plastic, languishing in a trunk in the attic, never to be used again?
In his letter to them, Shaul (Paul) tells the Colossians that they should seek the things of heaven and not of earth (Chapter 3, verse 2); throughout the bible we are told of the need to be concentrating on God and godly things, such as love, compassion, honesty, trust, affection, long-suffering (read the fruits of the Spirit that Shaul talks about in Galatians 5:22-23) and faithfulness.
Here are a few out-takes from God’s Word that remind us about this:
Colossians 3:1 If you then be risen with Messiah, seek those things which are above, …
1 Chronicles 22:19 Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God; arise …
Psalm 91:14 Because he has set his love on me, therefore will I deliver him: …
Psalm 119:36,37 Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.
1 John 2:15-17 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.
The things of God are eternal and the things of the world are temporary. Our lives are meant for one thing, and one thing only: to give us the time we need to make up our minds where we want to spend eternity.
That’s it, Folks- the answer to the question that has plagued Mankind ever since the first Philosopher asked, “What’s it all about?” is this:
You have been given this temporary existence to decide where you will spend eternity.
We need to get our heads back on our shoulders and thank the proctologist for his help in doing so. The things of this world are so much less important than the things that God wants us to have. Doesn’t Yeshua (Jesus) tell His disciples that they should look at how beautifully the flowers in the fields are dressed, and how God feeds every bird in the sky, so they shouldn’t worry about what they are to wear or eat (Matthew 6:28) because God knows all that they need and can provide it for them? We needn’t worry about the things of the world or desire them because they are a trap set by the evil one to detour us from our walk with God.
That doesn’t mean if you have been blessed (financially) to the point you can afford to buy a new BMW that you should get a used Tercel, instead. What it means is that if you have a used Tercel and it works, don’t set your eyes on having a new BMW that you can’t really afford just to have one.
When I read that letter to Amy I immediately thought of the TV shows “Bridezilla” and “Say Yes to the Dress”, and how they show the absolute worst sides of humanity- vanity, selfishness, covetousness, pridefulness, envy, boastfulness. These women wanted to have “the” wedding while wearing “the” dress. It was all about the show, and nothing at all to do with what marriage is really about. Marriage is about love, self-sacrifice, togetherness, compassion, respect, and a life together that is centered on God.
One of God’s great advantages is that He is already in the future looking back, so He knows where we are going and how we need to get there. We, on the other hand, are in a maze surrounded by tall walls of thick foliage and unable to know which way to go. Because God is far above, looking down, and can clearly see where every path leads we must trust in His eyes and not our own.
I believe we can also see backwards from the future. For instance, do you ever consider when you are in a moment of frustration what you will feel like in 5 years from now about this very situation? How many things that had you fuming or frustrated or upset that happened years ago can now be recalled without emotional strife and becoming upset?
NOTE: if you can’t recall things that upset you long ago without becoming upset, you need to search this site for all the posts about “forgiveness” because you really need to get that down before you can do what I am asking of you now.
This is what we need to teach ourselves to do: at the moment someone says something that upsets you and you are all set to fire back at them- stop! Think about what will result when you let go the words that are already in your mouth (just dying to get out), and ask yourself if, years later, you will be happy you said it or regret your actions? If you are even the slightest bit unsure how the future will see what you say now, then shut up!
Sounds easy…well, actually, it doesn’t sound easy, and the truth is that it’s even harder to do than it sounds. James 3:5-8 tells us that the tongue is nearly impossible to control, and Proverbs 16:32 tells us that the one who is able to control his (or her) anger is more powerful than one who can conquer a city (James repeated that message also in 1:19), so it is clear that this is something not just very hard to do, but has historically been a stumbling block in human relationships. Yet…just think how much better things would be if you could learn to do it, even a little bit, even just once in a while! I have taught myself that I need to proof-read my emails, and not just for spelling and grammar issues, but for “booby-traps”: things that may be saying something the wrong way or written in a derogatory manner that I will later regret having written. I have learned (most of the time but not always, I am ashamed to say) to delete the questionable sentences, or just not send the email at all. It has been very very hard to do that but I am learning to think “back in time” instead of being enslaved by what I am feeling “at this time.”
If there is a lesson in here anywhere, I think that is it- learn to think “back in time” so that you will be acting more from an eternal (i.e., godly) viewpoint than an immediate (i.e., human) viewpoint.