|(c) Susan Elliott|
More and more I’m becoming convinced that Satan’s greatest weapon against us is time. It’s attacking us from every angle. No time to spend with our children, so they raise themselves on electronics. No time to plan and cook healthy meals, so we overeat unhealthy processed foods. No time to pursue deeper faith, so we cling to shallow Facebook memes founded on opinion rather than truth.
Most are familiar with Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, where everything is assigned its time. I think a lot of people stop there and fail to read on. I’ve thought about this passage a lot lately, in verses 9-13
What profit has the worker from that in which he labors? I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God.
Then, skipping down to verse 22:
So I perceived that nothing is better than that a man should rejoice in his own works, for that is his heritage. For who can bring him to see what will happen after him?
IMHO, we’ve become a generation of completers. Check this off our list, knock that off the plans, finish this project… But we often sacrifice quality for convenience.
In reading these scriptures, I have to ask myself these questions.
Am I completing my God-given task? Do I even know what it is?
Do I rejoice in my life’s work?
Do I accept the fruit of my labor as a gift from God?
When I focus so much on completing and search for my “easy button” quick fix, I think the answer to each question has to be no. I say this to the first because God has warned me that serving him will not be the wide, easy path. If I’m trying to take shortcuts in every avenue of my life, how can I possibly serve Him to satisfaction?
As to the second question, the problem with a completion-oriented life is that as soon as you finish one thing on the list, you immediately shift your focus to the next thing. This is true even if that list is comprised of your service to God. How can you rejoice in something when you don’t take the time to reflect on it and appreciate how you’ve grown in the process?
And, to truly answer the third question, I have to ask myself if I’m satisfied with the outcome of my labor. How many times do we finish something only to declare it “not good enough” or “subpar?” My work is my heritage, and the fruit of my labor comes from God. A gift. As in not from me to myself. If I’ve put my all into something, using my God-given talents to the best of my ability, then my work should meet His expectations. How dare I call a gift from God unworthy?
Maintaining faith is not easy. God never intended it to be. The only way to keep it strong is continual service through Him.
So, rather than relying on my “easy button,” I need to remember 1 Corinthians 10:31 and do everything to the glory of God, taking the higher quality, more challenging path. In doing so, I think we’ll find it much easier to grow our faith.