Happiness is neither without us nor within us. It is in God, both without us and within us. — Blaise Pascal
Kids and Christmas morning—that’s the temporary world in the extreme. The holiday season now officially starts shortly after Valentine’s Day, followed by months of hype that fuel the hopes and the dreams of children (and retailers) everywhere. When the big day arrives, it’s over in approximately 47.29 seconds.
It’s a rush, to be sure. And who doesn’t like getting nice presents, even as an adult? But don’t you also notice how fast it’s all over and the kids just move to the next thing?
So it goes with everything in the temporary realm. It has a timeline, a beginning and an end. It’s a realm of activity, of processes, and of physical needs. It’s the realm where we see both good and evil. There is birth, growth, and death. With all our senses, we can experience God’s gift of creation in mountain ranges and valleys full of wildflowers. With our hands and our minds we can joyfully receive all the great stuff He has given us in the temporary realm.
But this is actually the danger of the temporary realm: It does have a lot of great stuff. And it’s really easy to love stuff—to love stuff more than the One who made it. (That’s like telling God, “I like You, but what I really love is Your stuff, as long as You give it to me.”)
What parent yearns for that reaction from their kids? When we lust after the temporary pleasures of this temporary realm, we trade the best for the stuff that’s not even going to last a moment in eternity.
Father, I want more than just Your stuff. I want Your heart, not just Your hand. Thank You for the temporary realm that You have created and the joy that it brings, but I want to live for what is above it. I want my life to be a pursuit of the eternal. Transform my heart; enable the eyes of my heart to see the things above that will last forever. Give me the humble wisdom to allow You to live through me in a way that makes my temporary pursuits be a reflection of all that is eternal. Amen.