Battling severe writer's block trying to write this "VT Commentary," I thought hard about the various issues that young adults face today (which are numerous). But nothing seemed to grab me.
So I sat down in front of the computer with my coffee and waited for a flash of inspiration. Nothing miraculous happened, so I started to retreat into "lala-land." I let my thoughts wander around. Up and down, this way and that. Still nothing…
Hmm, how much did I earn today? Okay, if I work that day as well, then I'll earn that much and I can now definitely get an iPod... Oh, and I really want to get those skatey shoes in that shop by the corner… and there are those other shoes that I saw… maybe I'll also get a new mobile (cell phone)… oh, and those books that I have been eyeing out…
Suddenly snapping back to reality, I pondered a little while, and then it dawned on me! The entire content of my thoughts had been revolving around money. You see, after years of studying and feeling impoverished while working on the minimum wage, I have finally graduated and am now enjoying the financial benefits of teaching. Yes, I have finally joined the rest of you in the real world!
Although I am enjoying this new financial position, I am concerned about the focus of my thoughts. I thought about what Christ says: "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:21).
You can clearly see where my focus was. All material/physical pursuits tend to take on an all-consuming nature. So let's extend this question to all of us. Where is your treasure?
What do you place as most important in your life? Where are your thoughts primarily focused? What are you now thinking about? (Hopefully I haven't lost you just yet!) What were you thinking about 20 minutes ago? Yesterday? This week?
Hopefully somewhere within the insanity that life can be, God was also there within our thoughts and hearts. But was He in the most prominent position? We recognize the importance of having God in the forefront of our minds, but too often we lose our spiritual direction by getting caught up in "the here and now."
When we realize that we have been focusing our minds on the wrong treasures (money/career/possessions/partying/the now), here is what we can do:
- Take the time to reflect on your thought patterns. Pray for help in deciphering what your "treasure" actually is.
- Think about how this focus affects your actions. Is it positive? Godly? If not, write down and start following some steps to help get back on track.
- Read the Bible to see what God says about the true treasure. In my case, God provided many confronting truths about money and possessions (Matthew 6:24; 19:24).
The fact that we will have to give an account before God of our entire life should inspire us more to get our acts together (Ecclesiastes 12:14). For more on the money issue, download or request a copy of the free booklet Managing Your Finances.
It is difficult to change and refocus on the positive—but it's possible. We have an incredible calling to God's way of life. May we all strive to make God's Kingdom our treasure! VT