It seems to me that God is on a mission to improve me. Me, Catherine. It’s true! Because God created me, He loves me just the way I am. However, He loves me too much to leave me the way I am. I’m a willing subject; I’m not going kicking and scratching (at least not yet). I’m not even holding on tightly to my pan of Applesauce Bars, the likes of which I can devour in two days! Or Christie’s Chocolate Sheet Cake that might last maybe three days. I’ve even avoided the two delicious, glazed original Krispy Kreme™ donuts when the *hot* light is on.
He and I have begun some new and exciting challenges in the beginning of the year 2014. I’ve discovered that not only does He listen to my innermost thoughts and my vocal prayers, He acts on them, in His perfect time.
I’ve never made any New Year’s resolutions, at least none that I recall. I never saw the point. In my experience, no one I knew kept them, so why bother lying to myself? If you make New Year’s resolutions, that’s great! However, I’ve found myself doing some things differently.
God has an almost ‘magical’ way of listening to my prayers, then acting on them and implementing His Plan oh-so-gently. These changes are not about vanity; they are all for my good, and include better and healthier eating choices and habits, goal setting and better time management. No! that’s a stretch. Delete “better”.. and simply write, Time Management.
I mentioned vanity. I don’t believe there is anything wrong with wanting to look good, feel good and be happy. These are innate behaviors among human beings. But there comes a point when the ridiculous just takes over.
Ecclesiastes 1:1-3 “The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?” The Message™ Bible refers to vanity as “Smoke! All smoke”. Another calls it futility!
How about Smoke and Mirrors? Now there’s a mouthful! Deception? Fraudulent? Misrepresentation? Dishonesty? These may be strong words, but are they true? Think about the ads you see on television for: wrinkle reducer, bust augmentation, hair color, lift up, push out, squish in, rearrange, shave this, cut that. Smoke and mirrors. Vanity of vanities .. all is Vanity. Thus spoke Solomon and he was counted the wisest of all.
I once knew a woman who got up early every morning before her husband to put on her makeup and fix her hair. He never ever saw her without her being perfectly groomed; she wouldn’t allow it. I’ll be the first to acknowledge that I put my ‘best foot forward’ when meeting someone new or going out. But, REALLY??? Not letting your husband see the real you? (No, the marriage didn’t last).
How does all of this relate in today’s world? What can we do? I don’t think it’s all that difficult. Jesus taught, and we read in the book of Matthew 6:31-34 “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Paul spoke well of this, also, in Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Here is the reality of a life in Christ. When all is said and done, John said is all too well in Revelation 21:4 “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”
Take out my name, Catherine, and replace it with yours. Put YOUR name above in the scriptures and let God show you His perfect way. Please remember that His perfect way is from PURE love and NOT condemnation. If you ever feel condemnation, run to the nearest exit! do not pass go! That is NOT the voice of God.
Smoke and Mirrors? Or a life IN Christ? You decide.
© 2014 Cat Brennan
All scripture quoted is from the King James Version, unless otherwise noted.