Anybody having trouble with what they think about a lot? Sometimes I get stuck. Stuck obsessing. Stuck dreaming of beauty. And fashion. And things that moths can eat. And rust will destroy (or, perhaps, only make better for a time and then corrode).
And then there's my love for individuality combined with creativity and competition. Having that dress no one else has. Or that great new shoulder bag no one else has. Or shoes. Or whatever. And it crowds my heart and makes me negatively introspective. A dank cellar. A darker, less-light-in soul.
I want to be free and unfettered in things like this. To be concerned with Giving over Getting.
Carefree in the care of God.
To know that I am an individual because God has made me like no one else, with my own special gifts....not to mention that I am a special and free individual because I am loved by God. So well loved by Him.
I think Eugene Peterson says it best as he translates a famous piece of the New Testament:
Don't hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it's safe from moth and rust and burglars. It's obvious, isn't it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.
Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have!
You can't worship two gods at once. Loving one god, you'll end up hating the other. Adoration of one feeds contempt for the other. You can't worship God and Money both.
If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don't fuss about what's on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.
Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.
If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
Anything from Peterson's translation hit you?