Yesterday morning, I dropped Janet off at the airport as she went to visit her parents in Williamsburg, Va. On the way back home, I noticed a large home for sale that we had looked at more than ten years ago; the last time it was on the market.
Back then, and even still now, the property was out of our financial reach, but I don’t think I ever stopped dreaming about owning that place. Don’t get me wrong – I never needed it, but I wanted it. Swimming pool, tennis court, beautiful lot, it even had it’s own pool house with a second kitchen. The kind of place that kind of seems like a retreat. So I stopped!
I really don’t even know why – I just did. And boy, did the place look great. New kitchen, Wolf appliances, three fireplaces, large rooms, and the smell of fresh paint. They were really trying to make it look good, and they did. And then I went outside and looked at the pool, and the patios, and the tennis court (yes, it was still there), and even the lights around the property to illuminate it at night – acres of trees and seclusion in the middle of a suburban community.
But as quickly as it started, my desire for that place died. All I could think about was the upkeep, and the expense of maintaining all that stuff. I thought about all the time it would take to cut the lawn, and all those empty bedrooms since our children are all out on their own. And how much Janet and I would have to give up in order to afford that property. It just didn’t seem worth it.
Now this is a far different view than I had fifteen years ago. What had changed? Our age? Or family status? The answer is no – our values have changed! Because now we focus on God and not on the world. In fact, the Greeks had a word for things of this world, and you probably have heard of it – cosmos. Carl Sagan, a world renowned astronomer, even wrote a famous book entitled Cosmos.
But God cautions us about focusing on this world, and encourages us to concentrate on heaven instead. Both Peter and John urge us to focus on things above, and not to worry about our earthly desires. Now that is easier said than done – but I do understand the concept.
It really hit home, however, when I studied Greek in seminary. During our study of the word cosmos, we learned about other English words derived from the Greek. My favorite is our word cosmetics – and do you know what that word really means?
It means covering up what is real. Enough said. God wants us to focus on what is real – Him, and the things of heaven. Not the world, and those things we do to draw us away from Him. So, even though the things of this world compete for our attention, how about focusing on God, and the things above? I believe we will be glad we did!