Decorating, rearranging, buying beautiful trinkets; these are all things I do to make my home beautiful. To top it off, I might even paint, hang pictures and buy aesthetically pleasing items to make my home, well, “homey.” Why do I do these things?
I guess because I want people to love my home, to feel at home and to be comfortable. More importantly, I want to feel at home. The funny thing is I can never quite get it to perfection. I am always striving to make it better. It is never fulfilling.
There was a time we had purchased new windows for our home. We are in a 1950’s Ranch and the windows are original, so it was about time to invest in some new windows. After purchasing them I started to think, “Oh, wouldn’t it be nice to break down that wall and have a beautiful sliding glass door to open up into our little piece of nature?” It then occurred to me that a beautiful deck built on the back of the house would just be gorgeous. I went on and on in my head about new things I could do to make my house more beautiful and more “homey.” Nothing had an end to it. It was a forever cycle of repairs and money.
So, as I was doing this, I remembered the whole reason we moved into this great little house. It was to downsize our life. It was to get back to the basics. It was to reacquaint ourselves with the virtue of a humble lifestyle. New windows were fine, but all that other stuff is not needed.
Why am I constantly trying to fill something that is a bottomless pit? I will tell you why – because I read it in Hebrews this morning…
Hebrews 11:16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one.
I was doing all these things because I forgot that my home is not my permanent home – it is just temporary. My permanent home is in heaven. My eyes had drifted to “things” and I needed to redirect them to Heaven.
My home is not here on earth. No matter how hard I try, no matter how much I decorate, and no matter how much I spend; I will NEVER be able to make my home here on earth my Heavenly home. I will always feel like there is more to do. When I allow my heart to face the fact that this is just a transient position I am in, then I will have faith that my fulfillment will happen – in Heaven. I am just a traveler on the road to a much better place.
Stocking up on “things” in my earthly home to make it feel heavenly, will not be fulfilling. God wants me to set my sight on what is waiting for me in Heaven. He doesn’t want me wasting my time tending to my earthly possessions. He wants me spending my time doing His Will.
This transient place is like a business trip. I am here to serve God. My time on earth is meant to touch other people’s lives. My ultimate goal is to get myself and as many people as possible to Heaven. I don’t have a quota, but I know exactly what I will receive in compensation. I will receive God’s promise of eternal life.
In the book of Genesis, life was not much different than it is now. People were making really poor choices and morality seemed like it was at an all-time low. I mean, poor God could only find one good person – Noah – that exhibited moral behavior. God hand-picked Noah to be the sole survivor in a very unethical world. Honestly, there wasn’t much difference in the world back then compared to the world today. Our problems and attitudes are very much the same. Both back then and today, our focus is primarily self-serving. We are both stocking up on possessions, money and things to fulfill our life here on earth. For some reason we all think that these things will make us happy and feel comfortable, when they do just the opposite. They make us feel inferior and unsatisfied.
I am pretty sure God didn’t pick Noah because he had the best household decorations. I am going to go out on a limb and guess it was Noah’s focus on God that secured him into God’s favor. When God did tell Noah to go build that gigantic ark, he certainly didn’t ask Noah to bring along all his great household trinkets. I mean you didn’t hear God telling Noah to make sure he brought his favorite picture. I certainly never read where God told Noah to bring that perfect outfit for the long journey. He didn’t nudge Noah to bring his dining room table that meant so much to Noah and his family. Nope. God did not have Noah bring a lot of possessions. He had Noah bring whatever was needed to accomplish God’s mission. That was it. Nothing more.
You know why? Because those “things” are not part of His plan. “Things” do not get us to heaven. In fact, they stifle our pathway to heaven. My guess is Noah didn’t own many “things” because his focus was on God.
So, why on earth am I working so hard to make my earthly home so beautiful? I guess because I don’t truly understand my faith. Love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are not being practiced when I am spending money on frivolous items. If anything, I am pushing away those fruits of the spirit when I dwell on my earthly possessions instead of focusing my attention to Heaven. I have to redirect my attitude to one that focuses on Heaven. I need to push aside those thoughts that push away the mission of God.
During this time of Advent, when the push is to buy, buy and buy some more; let’s try to focus on the real present under that tree – Jesus Christ and his promise of heaven to all.