Thursday, April 14, 2011
One thing I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple. For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will set me high on a rock. – Psalm 27: 4-5
In a culture where the swipe of a card purchases dozens of products in seconds, it’s easy start accumulating things. Sometimes, those of us in the lowest tax bracket want to think we aren’t materialist because we can’t afford the top of the line. It is a lie. Even small extravagances can derail one’s focus if they become obsessions rather than accessories.
I might not go to bed dreaming of BMWs, but I’ve certainly spent time this week chasing material things that I don’t necessarily need to survive: staring at the Starbucks menu pondering how I can get the most caffeine for the least money or driving back to the Goodwill with visions of those pink flats I left behind last time.
I might not have spent much money, but I did spend mental space congratulating myself for finding a decent drink under two dollars or kicking myself because someone else is walking around in the sparkly shoes I wanted.
During Lent, we have the opportunity to deny ourselves tangible pleasure so that we can draw closer to the Lord. In years past, drinking Diet Coke before morning class because I gave up coffee made me remember Christ’s sacrifice because I was making a small sacrifice of my own. I also yearned even more for a resurrection body that doesn’t need some kind of kick to get started in the morning.
Though we aren’t exactly becoming ascetics, extra measures of self-control at this time can prove that the state of our hearts matches the words of this psalm. It’s more real that I am asking for one thing – to behold the beauty of the Lord and dwell with him – when I’m not ordering a latte.
Merciful God, honor this time that we break from the daily addictions that help us to carry on. We need to trust you God – because you are sovereign and we are not. Establish us according to the psalmist’s promise as sincerely seek you God. You are certainly more secure than anything we crawl toward on our own.
Alicia Leonardi writes regularly for McCormick. She loves God.