Monday, April 18, 2011
Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on towards the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.
- Philippians 3: 12-14
So often, advertisements allure us with images of those who appear to have arrived: the guy rich enough to buy three of those cars with a bikini clad girl sprawled across the hood, the singer who is engaged to that actor whose face on a massive billboard by the train seems to have no wrinkles.
It’s easy to look at these snapshots in time and feel jealous in the moment – especially if you’re walking in the cold and having a bad hair day. We forget that attainment is an illusion that doesn’t last. That singer is getting wrinkles in a few years – even if plastic surgery seems to take them away, the change is only skin deep.
The change Christ offers is penetrating, profound and lasts for eternity. The catch is that it doesn’t happen in an instant – this whole becoming a new creation thing takes a while.
Advertising touts the appeal of consumerism – we feel of personal power when our money can buy something shiny, beautiful and sexy. For a moment, we experience aesthetic transfusion as we rev the engine of an exquisite automobile or stare at our transformed, shimmering face. We may have used money to buy our way to beautiful, but only lasts until a prettier face pulls up in a newer, shinier car.
God calls us to something so much more substantial. When the gains we made for ourselves have long faded, the work Christ has wrought within our hearts will remain.
In a land where we are constantly bombarded by images of the here and now, God reminds us that the intangible work of His kingdom is the only thing that will outlast this world.
Lord almighty, help us not to live our lives in vain. Make clamor of the present bow to the call of heaven as you draw us to yourself.
Alicia Leonardi writes for communications at McCormick. She’s learned that mascara that doesn’t run is really hard to remove.