Last Wednesday found me and my husband on board an airplane flying west to California! I had the blessing of speaking at a Ladies’ Retreat in Grass Valley from Thursday through Saturday. I had never been to the camp before, and I knew only two people there – the director and his sweet wife.
As I prepared for the retreat, I found myself in my normal mode stressing over “What should I wear?!” Will it be cold, moderate, or hot? Will I need a jacket? Will I be over-dressed? What shoes should I wear? Then I remembered my last retreat in the spring and the lessons I learned, and I let it go. I packed a skirt, two tops, a dress, a pair of jeans, a jacket and casual shoes. Done. I thanked the Lord for the reminder that my external isn’t nearly as important as what’s in my heart.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
Why do we get so hung up on the non-essentials and not nearly so concerned about what really matters? Because that’s how our flesh and the devil operate. They strive to get us distracted away from the Lord and from the eternal. For instance, it’s easy to get titled sideways over:
- A mess – spilled Cheerios, a puddle of milk, a pile of books,
- Too much on our schedule
- Lack of communication from our spouse
- A shortage of money
- Getting treated unfairly
But do we get just as upset over:
- Our own messy attitude?
- Not enough time to read and meditate in God’s Word?
- Not enough time to spend in prayer?
- A desire to give more to God’s work?
- The way God’s name and ways are abused around us?
- The needs of a lost soul?
Now that I’m safely back home, maybe I should just leave a suitcase out to remind me each day not to let the temporal, external things stress me! They truly don’t matter.
Oh, Lord, help me to be bothered to the point of change about what is relevant for eternity!
What’s bothering you today? If it’s something that will only matter in this life, let it go. Give it to the Lord in prayer, if need be, but don’t dwell on it. Ask the Lord to help you focus on what’s really important – that which is eternal. Oh, and if you’re traveling to the other coast, just layer outfits and you’ll be fine. 🙂