Most problems/hardships that those of us in the Western world struggle with on a daily basis are really not that important. Not to those of us living far from the squalid slums of Mexico City, the oppressive poverty of the Congo, the ravages of war, or the hundreds of thousands of hopeless children that roam the streets of the major cities of the world.
If we can put those pesky, unpleasant images out of our minds – we live well. Nothing much to worry about.
And life goes on.
I’m not disparaging people who are struggling with legitimate and life crushing issues. But that’s not most of us. Most of us are just fine. We have a roof over our heads, food on our tables, and money to pay the bills. We live in the land of the 3 S’s: Security, Satisfaction and Surplus.
Yet we live so much of our lives uptight about the little things. The things that are not that consequential in the grander scheme.
Think about the last thing that made you uptight. Was it really that important? Probably not. No matter which way it went, life would probably go on. You’d still have a warm bed to sleep in, more than enough food to eat, more clothes in your closet than some third world villages combined, and people who still loved you.
That’s more than most people in the world have.
The reason that we in the prosperous West get so uptight about the little things is because we’ve made life all about us. In our minds a good life is dependent on two things – our comfort and our enjoyment.
And what we’ve forgotten is the transient nature of life.
The Bible addresses this issue in several places, like James chapter 4.
You should know better than to say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to the city. We will do business there for a year and make a lot of money!” What do you know about tomorrow? How can you be so sure about your life? It is nothing more than mist that appears for only a little while before it disappears (James 4:13-14).
In the eternal scheme your life isn’t even a blimp on the radar screen. It’s a puff of smoke – here one moment and gone the next.
There has to be something more than our comfort and enjoyment that gives meaning and significance to our lives.
And there is.
James goes on to say, You should say, “If the Lord lets us live, we will do these things.” (James 4:15).
What James recognizes is the importance of bringing God into the decisions of our lives. We do what we do dependent on Him.
In reality life is about Him. He is the focal point of life. He is what gives life meaning and significance.
Acting as if we are autonomous and there is nothing greater than us is what leads us to place so much significance on the insignificant things of life. When we eliminate the most significant (God) we will elevate the less significant to heights far above what they deserve.
It’s in keeping God in His rightful place that we will find balance in life. When He is the focal point everything else will fall into its proper place.
Jesus put it this way: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment (Matthew 22:37-38).
That’s keeping God in the right place. It will also keep the problems/hardships of life where they belong.
Stay in the Word