“The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13
Anyone who knows me can vouch for my flightiness. I am not a naturally organized, well-coordinated person. I lose things. I struggle to stay within the boundaries of any routine or system meant to keep me “on track.” So these past several weeks of spring cleaning and reorganizing my home and calendar have been challenging, rewarding, and enlightening, at all once. And if it has caused me to have any epiphany worth noting, it would be this: I am only a steward of my life. Contrary to the well-meaning encouragements of my culture, this is not “my time.” The people, habits, and moments that make up my life are not mine.
The problem with the mentality that says we are our own is it means we orchestrate the elements of our life in whatever way that would best serve us. Personally, I know this has been the root of my ineffectiveness as a Christian and an adult human in general. I want to ignore my responsibilities when they stretch me; I can just write another Netflix break into my custom planner (whose entire purpose is to enforce the illusion that the constraints of time and reality can bend to fit my needs, rather than the other way around).
But what would happen if we woke up each morning and lived, from mundane moment to mundane moment, like we exist to serve others and obey the God who loves and has redeemed us? What if we were wrung out as living sacrifices, being crucified and reawakened on a daily basis? Then we would truly live.
Father, You are before and after all things. Every good and perfect gift I experience comes directly from You, and I deserve none of them apart from my standing in Christ. His sacrifice is the hope of my life, and I need to be reminded I always belonged to You as Your creation and even more-so now as Your beloved child. The things, people, and fragments of time You have granted me to steward are meant to bring You glory. Cause and empower me to operate within that purpose, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
What are some specific ways in which you approach different elements of earthly life as servants of your desires or plans rather than as tools for God’s own glorification? Do you think our joy and productivity increase with a more God-centered, eternal perspective? Why or why not?