Things That Are Truly Important
The Lord knows me. He knows my name. He knows my strengths and my weaknesses. He knows what I go through on a daily basis. He stands ready to support me and help me in all I do – in my trials and in my labors. He loves me as His child with perfect love, for God is love and the Lord is God. His capacity for love is such that He loves me more than I can love myself.
Therefore, I know I can trust Him and rely on Him with assurance. As I turn to Him, the power of His Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, will permeate my being, bringing light and truth. As I accept Him in my life, He will heal my wounds. As I forsake my sins, He will lift the stains of my soul. As I give myself to Him, He will take me into His kingdom to dwell amid His love and glory, in great and eternal joy, forever more.
Any desire I have that is counter to my Lord’s will presents a danger to my well-being. Any action I take not in congruence with my Lord’s will jeopardizes my long-term happiness. Only when my actions fully harmonize with the will of God can I attain true and lasting – indeed, eternal – joy.
In His perfection and wisdom, God remains aware of long-term effects. In our imperfection and mortality our view is greatly limited. This can lead to grave mistakes. Failure comes when we give up what we want most of all just so we can get something we want right now. A two-year-old child, when offered a choice between a piece of candy or a hundred dollar bill will always take the candy, despite the fact that the money could keep it in candy for years. Likewise, it displays a childish lack of wisdom and a great deal of ignorance when we grasp at worldly pleasures and reject what our Father has ready to give us, which is all He has – the entire universe, which is all things.
It takes faith to continue to care for the goose that lays golden eggs, rather than succumb to the enticements of the world and kill the goose in a vain attempt to get all the eggs now. It takes faith to trust in an all-powerful and all-loving Father to give us fulfillment of our righteous desires. It takes faith to resist grabbing what we want right now, although we intellectually recognize that it might not be what God would give us.
Whenever we take from the world rather than from God, we accept a counterfeit. A counterfeit brings some immediate pleasure, but no lasting joy.
In the Pulitzer Price winning play (later an Academy Award winning motion picture), “A Man For All Seasons,” the protagonist, Sir Thomas More, his fate now sealed due to false witness given by one Richard Rich with the purpose of political gain, tells young Rich, “Why Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world... but for Wales?” Richard Rich had lied in court so that the political powers could justify More’s head on the chopping block, but Sir Thomas went in full confidence that he had maintained his integrity and had thereby procured a lasting and eternal reward, whereas all Rich received was a governorship of Wales.
On a more immediate level, whenever we act counter to the will of God, go against what our Father would have us do, we are accepting something less than the whole world – something much less valuable, something that will not last. To an Englishman in the 16th Century,
May we always be cognoscent of the value of our soul.