Yesterday while at church (that’s right, I’m still going!) I was reading through a passage from a prayer book called “My Daily Bread: A Summary of the Spiritual Life.” It’s a great little book of daily readings, reflections and prayers from way back in the day,1954. I’m not sure where my wife found it, probably on one of her thrift store adventures, but it was an excellent find.
The reading that caught and held my attention had to do with looking away from God. “He who thinks more of earthly things than he does of Me, will find nothing but insecurity, trouble and sorrow. The man who looks only for worldly satisfaction becomes blind to the loving presence of his Creator.”
Now, I don’t mean to get overly religious or preachy on you, but those are some mighty powerful words and they really got me thinking. What kind of man am I? Do I honor my God or am I selfishly hung up on material things? It really disturbed me. I found myself looking around the church at all the people, many who I’ve been seeing for weeks now and wondered, what kind of people are they? Sure, here we all are at mass every Sunday, but do we really live for God or are we just paying Him lip service for an hour each week? When we go home after mass do our lives stay ‘tuned in ‘ to God or do we return to our everyday lives and become blind to the presence of our Creator? Do we return to our worldly jobs and routines, seeking profit, pleasure and honor, often at the expense of others, slaves to our earthly desires? Are we living for the greater good or our own good?
I’ll tell you, it was on my mind for the rest of the mass and the more I thought about it the more disturbed I became. I began to wonder how many of my “I need this” and “I need thats” are actually nothing more than selfish “I wants”. I mean what do I really need? What more could I possibly need? Don’t I already have all that I could ever really need? A loving wife and family, a home in a good neighborhood, a respectable job, good friends, my health, who could ask for anything more. Oh, but I’ve got plenty more material things, things I don’t really need and seldom use. I have them simply for the sake of having them. And still I find myself longing for more always wanting more.
I left church thinking that there is so much more to life than living in a materialistic fantasy. Life is a miraculous gift not some competition or game. We are not here to be better than anyone else or to amass more earthly possessions than others, you can’t take any of it with you. No, we are here simply to be the best individuals that we can. We were created for that purpose. I came away from church reawakened to the knowledge that materialism is just a grand diversion designed to keep us from our true purpose.
I may want a bigger house, a new expensive car or another guitar, but the fact is I really don’t NEED them. I need to appreciate what God has allowed me to have and all he has blessed me with already. His blessings are numerous and found in the simplest of things. They are all around us to be appreciated and to bring us joy if we learn to see with our hearts as well as our eyes. I tell you I don’t want to be just another self centered sinner trapped in a prison of my own devise, I want to be the man I was meant to be, the person I was born to be, so that one day I can move on from this earth and live happily ever after…
Just a Thought,