By: Keith Olbricht
There is a story that was supposed to be the introduction to this, but I decided to not bore you with it and skip it to get right to the point: we are going through life with our expectations too high. From careers, to cars, to peers, to looks, and to material stuff in general, the bar of expectation has been set so high that we are impossible to satisfy. Part of this is the natural byproduct of really good things. “Aim high,” we are told in school, and certainly we should. We can and should aim higher than we think we can obtain, but if we are aiming for the wrong things, all we amount to is a puff of smoke and a boom echoing around us.
“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Colossians 3:1-2 NKJV)
The first thing I remember ever really, really wanting was a new BB gun. I thought about that BB gun all the time. And, aside from imagining all the fun I was going to have, I realistically began planning how I was going to be able to save enough money to get it. I begged my parents for chores. I raked my grandmother’s yard. I picked up walnuts to sell. I picked up Coke bottles to return. I did everything I could think of to earn money and saved every bit of it without spending a single frivolous cent. Why? Because that is what I had my mind set on. Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:21-23 NKJV)
Our spirit is illuminated by what we are beholding. It does not matter if we desire to do good, when our gaze is fixed upon things that are evil, then evil is what will be within us. And no matter how much we might desire heaven, if our eyes are only fixed on the material, you can certainly imagine where our eyes are going to lead us. If it is your decision that God’s salvation is what you want more than anything else, what are willing to do to get it? What could the church be like if we were all begging the elders for more work to do, if we raked through the souls of our town, and if we worked, worked, worked towards that single goal? I know that salvation is not quite the same as buying a BB gun, but we’re never going to get it as long as we keep looking at other things.