Years ago I worked alongside a man, a retired “submariner”, if that’s a word. I guess he just wanted to be doing something rather than sitting at home, so there he was working sheet metal, working with his hands. I remember him talking once about his early youth and how he was unsettled, you know, in the sense that he didn’t know what to do, so he did this and that, never really focused on anything and spent a number of years that way. He said though, that one day he realized he needed to get serious, make some choices and be disciplined about sticking with them. He told me, and a couple others of us sitting around on the floor of a job site, eating lunch… once he made up his mind to be serious and get down to work that everything changed for him. Things calmed down and began to work out. He began experiencing purpose, making progress, achieving a goal.
I relate more now than then. One can spend a lot of time getting nothing done over- thinking things, “angst-ing” about the rightness of this way or that…or have a bent towards swerving off after every little attraction that comes along and, at some point, looking back and doing an audit on one’s life, realize that a great deal of time and energy and money was frittered away on things that now are in the junkyard of life, not to mention the shoddy workmanship one put into relationships along the way.
Our involvement with others, even more than the pursuit of things, is the area where in retrospect one can experience a sense that we could have, should have done better. It’s the area in which the greatest gains and losses were experienced.
One would think that the goal in life would be to make the most of the limited time we have and to set our sights, right from the beginning, on things that matter and have real value. But to some degree or another we don’t, either because those that could counsel well do not speak a word or a word is spoken but we do not listen.
There is a need to speak out and to listen, and having listen… for doing.
There are a lot of voices and whether young or old we are… we can “…be tossed about by the waves and blown along by every wind of…” worldly teaching, every ad proclaiming what is worthwhile, what is good, what brings pleasure and that we should grab for those things…a narrative all around us though, that if we put our trust in it we are putting ourselves “…at the mercy of people cleaver in devising ways to deceive…” Ephesians 4”14 CJB.
Think about it. Isn’t that so?
What to dooo…?
“Examine yourselves…test yourselves…” listen to voices not concerned with their own ends but that “…you will do nothing wrong… concerned with you doing what is right…” 2 Corinthians 13:5-7 CJB
Don’t be enticed into a way of thought that would lead you to “…have exaggerated ideas about your own importance…” based on worldly standards.
Set that aside, then…
“…develop a sober estimate of yourself …” based on God’s standards (Romans 12:3 CJB).
For all that glitters is not gold.
Set your sights on those things and pursuits that are not merely diversions and passing fancies, but will satisfy and content, no matter the circumstances now… and will be treasure laid up in heaven for the future.
The instructions are there in God’s Word and are given not singularly for fellowship with our Creator only but also as tools for successfully negotiating our daily lives…every aspect of our daily lives… for His glory, to win His favor, for our peace and joy and to be help and blessing to others.
Father…everything that has beauty…not surprisingly…is the work of Your hands.
Everything that is right and good is so because they have their origin in You.
Everything that has worth and is worth the price of our life’s time and our dedication is wrapped up in being wholly and completely Your children, Your people…in seeking and accepting how You have created each one of us to be, in being satisfied in that, not forever undecided or drawn to and fro but settled, ordered and about our days functioning steadfastly and contentedly… where we are in You.
Lead us into self examination.
Enable sober self estimates.
Gift us with a proper sense of what is of value and what is worth our lives.
Grant please, discipline and focus and faithfulness in and to pursue those things.
May we find in Your direction and adherence to Your ways… purposefulness and satisfaction and peace for our days…
and the way to loving one another rightly and successfully.
Grant us wisdom to be able to counsel rightly and a concern that leads to us being thoughtfully and considerately forthright in providing that counsel…and may we that are listening have discernment and be receptive.
May it be the desire of our hearts that, in all, we order and conduct our lives so to please You and glorify You and experience Your love for us…we pray…
In Yeshua’s name…
May God’s love be in us all.