Living with a light attitude towards the 'earthly things' in this post modern competitive world is becoming an increasing struggle for me. The compulsion to be competitive is unavoidable in career, education, money etc. I think I am on a run all the time. Running from my bed in the morning to drop the kids at school, then running to the office, sitting in front of the computer 8 hrs, most of the time with the pressure building up in the head to meet certain deadlines. In the evening running back to pick my kids, running to home, rushing through many things including shower, dinner etc to get to the final point of the day – the bed. Next day continues the same journey. Week-ends are no different and in fact week-ends are much busier than week days. Is this a common phenomenon in this century? I feel like I am running to keep up with everyone else. If I drive 60 miles/hr on a 70 miles zone freeway, I feel like I am failing to keep up. On top of all these, the worries of a regular parent, giving good education to the kids, learning new skills to keep up with the competitive job industry, having enough money for the retirement...
I have relatives and friends who talk about money/business/career all the time. They read ‘how to become a millionaire’ while on vacation. They look down to us, if we don’t plan, save and invest smartly. And I am poor in all these, so I sometimes feel insecure for not having a great financial plan or a career goal.
On the other hand, sometimes I think I need to really slow down but don’t know how. It appears that there is not even a single thing I can take off from the list of things I do everyday. I really want to spend more time reading, thinking and writing.
Philippians 3 is one my favorite anti-legalistic chapters in the Bible. But when I read it yesterday I read the whole chapter and something stuck out to me towards the end of the chapter.
There Apostle Paul is making a statement such as ‘as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears’. I am not sure if there is any other passage among all the Pauline Epistles where he says something with tears in his eyes. That to me is a sign of great importance of the thing he is talking here. He is talking about the people who lives as the enemies of the cross of Christ whose god is their stomach and their mind is on earthly things. It brought a shiver to my body. Though a child of God, how much I think about the things of this world. How much I am concerned about my well being on this earth, which is destined to ‘pass away’. The psalmist reminds us of some thing about our life here which is worth remembering all the time:
As for man, his days are like grass,
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
Going back to the passage in Philippians, Apostle Paul concludes that chapter like this:
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
I wish I lived with Apostle Paul in first century. I need somebody to keep on reminding me this all the time. It is not that I want to run away from my responsibilities as a husband, parent or an employee, but I simply want to grow in the grace of God. And often times materialism comes on my way so I keep forgetting that my citizenship is in heaven and I can think more about the things above and of eternal value rather than temporary things on this temporary earth. I keep forgetting the Jesus who said, 'do not be anxious about tomorrow'. It is so easy to tell someone to 'live one day at a time', but it is so hard to do it. Unless I am constantly reminded about the love and grace of God, I will easily drift away from the things of God, to the things of the world. I want to encourage everybody to keep on writing their blogs to encourage each other because people like me desperately needs to be reminded all the time. I like what C.S. Lewis said: 'People need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed'.