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The Things Of This World

If I could just get over one overarching problem in my spiritual life, I think I would be a lot better off. The problem is that I am what C.S. Lewis would call a "spiritual amphibian." He said, "Humans are amphibians—half spirit and half animal. As spirits they belong to the eternal world, but as animals they inhabit time." As such, the constant barrage of distractions from everyday living is always compromising my eternal perspective.

As a college student, I have even more distractions to draw my mind away from the Lord: classes, relationships, homework and worst of all, the computer. It never ceases to amaze me how much time I can waste on my computer doing absolutely nothing of worth. And at the end of the day, I look back, and wonder where my day went. What did I do for 16 hours today while I was awake? And out of 16 hours, how much time did I spend thinking about something beyond my immediate surroundings or problems? No, often I look back and realize my mindset the whole day has been on me. What I needed to do, what I wanted, what I thought was important, me, me, me. And then I realize it’s not about me; it’s about God.

No other verses I have ever read explain my dilemma and the solution, as well as Psalms 73:25-26: “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

Before these verses in Psalm 73, David had been talking about how much he envied the success of those in the world. David had the same problem I do. He was distracted by the things of the world, prone to be caught up in the temporal surroundings of existing on earth. In this verse, we find the inadequacy of all the things of this world. David exclaimed, "Earth has nothing I desire besides you." In another translation it reads, "And having you, I desire nothing else on earth." Everything in this world is nothing compared to God. My little meager life of running to and fro from class to the office to appointments to whatever … it’s necessary, yet so meaningless in comparison.

The fact is like the matrix in the movie, The Matrix. This world of hassle and hurting is the wool that has been pulled over our eyes to prevent us from what we were meant for. But what are we meant for? Ultimately, to worship God, but in the process we are meant for spiritual joy, peace and strength. When I recognize who God is, and that He loves me, my heart soars. He is the strength of my heart! This world drags us down, but God is our strength. Similarly, in Isaiah 40 it states: “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

The key here is to lay down our pride and "hope in the Lord." Keeping a heavenly mindset is crucial. Yes, my heart and flesh will fail, and I will stumble and fall, but I must "hope in the Lord," keeping my mind on the Lord. He always satisfies when I go to Him with a humble heart and open myself to experience His renewing love. An old hymn says it so well, Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full into His wonderful face, and the things of this world will grow strangely dim in the Light of His Glory and Grace.

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