What am I chasing after? What am I running towards? What is constantly on my mind? What do I dwell upon most often? What thoughts occupy my mind the most?
Lately, my answers to these questions would not impress anyone.
Decorating my home. Buying new tables and rugs and candles and shower curtains.
Looking pretty. Planning what I’m going to wear. Buying new jeans and shoes and makeup and hair products.
Social media. What pictures I can take and what captions will go with them. How I can better my online presence.
I’m focused on outward things. I’m focused on appearances. I’m concerned with how things look, with how I look. I’m constantly thinking about how I can make this room look better, or how I can get my skin to look perfect, or how I want to update the kitchen or bathroom. I’m always preoccupied with thoughts of next, next, next.
Next I need to buy a new bed frame. Next I want to paint this wall. Next I’m going to sign up for that 5K for next month. Next I’m going to take Riley here to have this experience. Next I need to buy that dress. Next we should get tacos for dinner.
I’m always thinking of how I’m going to have fun tonight or this weekend: The good food I’m going to eat tonight. The places we’re going to go on Saturday. How we can fill our lives with fun and pleasure. How we can be the most comfortable and make things as enjoyable as possible. This is what I dwell upon, as of late.
None of these things are bad. In fact, they’re pretty normal. Most people think about the same things, or similar things. Most people focus on making things as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. It’s natural human nature.
Yet, all the while, I feel a tug in my heart for something more. It’s fine to chase these temporary things, but there’s something bigger than all of this. There’s something that matters more than all this. There’s a greater pursuit. Remember it? Remember that you were made for more than this?
I want to spend my days in this short life building things that are eternal. Chasing what will last. Running after things that won’t fade. I want to take focus off of my outfit and my hair and the food we’re having tonight and the perfect decor for our bedroom, and I want to put that focus on something that matters. On something that is going to mean something when this short life is over. Because life is a vapor.
I want to have a bigger vision than just this small, fragile life I’m living today. I want to zoom out of my small world and see things from a higher perspective. Because every small choice that I’m making today—everything I’m choosing to invest in today—is going to reap a harvest later on in life. What is that harvest going to look like?
If I continue as I am now, investing in outward appearances, in how my house looks and how cute my outfits are…What is 60-years of that going to turn me into?
A shell of a woman, with wrinkled skin and a beautiful house, and a heart that’s been asleep for many years. A person who is amazing at keeping up appearances, but who has little of substance to offer others. No wisdom to share. No crazy stories to tell of courage and saying yes and walking through hard times with a heart that stays alive.
I don’t want that. I don’t want to be the woman who looks stylish and has a clean, beautiful home and lifestyle, but doesn’t have the substance of years spent poring over the Word, and chasing after God, and following Jesus to crazy places.
I want the stories. I want the wisdom. I want smile lines on my eyes. I want the beaming joy of a heart that is alive, as I tell people about how He was faithful in my darkest storm, and how He provided for me always, and how He never left my side as we forged a relationship and built history and He called me to do things I never thought I could do, but did with Him. I want life in my eyes. I want hope to exude off of my lips. I want a burning heart of gold that is passionate for the things that matter, and doesn’t care about the things that don’t. I want the perspective that can remind others that these fading worries—these temporary troubles, these brief afflictions—they’ll be gone in an instant. The cares of life that weigh us down and make us anxious—they aren’t worth wasting our days. That we can actually live a life filled with joy, peace, and hope.
I want to remind us that worrying about our hair and what kind of car we drive and whether or not we have the cutest shoes or how many people are reading our blog—all of these things don’t matter.
Who cares if you don’t look your best today? Who cares if your house is not your dream house? Who cares if you have cellulite and stretch marks and a little extra weight around your middle? Who cares if you have credit card debt and student loans and unfinished business and family drama and relationship problems? These things do matter, but they’re not worth stealing your joy, stealing your life.
Life is better than all of these worries. He is better than all of these worries. He is the best thing.
Leave what’s heavy behind. Everything is fading fast. Life is a vapor. I don’t want to waste mine.
I’d rather soak up His words and fill my heart and mind with scripture and fill my life with His presence. I want to invest in my heart and soul, and my relationship with Jesus.
It’s the only thing that will last.