There’s something about the shower that clears the head. It could be the fact that it ranks among the top two locations where I can think without interruption or distraction. The cascade of water brings a fresh perspective on life, and long showers are even more mentally productive! In my crazy world, this tile haven is a place of defining epiphanies – answers and revelations that have changed my perspective and steered my course. One such paradigm shift occurred months ago. Face-to-face with the decline of once youthful physical attributes giving way to evidence of aging, discouragement attempted to weasel its way into my mind. When the Holy Spirit directed my thoughts to the things in my life that have improved with age, it occurred to me:
The only things that get better with age are the things that matter most to God.
I weighed both sides of the scale. On the side of aging: wrinkles, softening eye lids, age spots, gray hair, varicose veins, stiff joints, arms that flap in the wind, body parts shifting, a slow widening. On the side of things that matter: believing God more fully, serving Him more completely, understanding His love and grace more deeply, loving my husband sincerely and wholeheartedly, growing in patience, using my time more wisely, seeking forgiveness more quickly, taking offense less often, having fun with my family more often, recognizing little things and letting them go more instantaneously, dealing with issues more directly, loving and serving others more sacrificially. As Paul says in Philippians 3:12, “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.”
I press on with every year, but I had a bit of a setback these last few weeks. A struggle with the flesh. A temptation toward plastic surgery to the point of researching it, seeking my husband’s opinion about it, and even casually discussing it with my doctor. I think I knew deep down I couldn’t and wouldn’t go through with it, but the idea of fixing something that disappoints me lured me into a mindset of discontentment. As I went back in forth with myself, I continued to lay it before the Lord, confessing my unhappiness and vanity. By His grace, I could never go forward without peace from Him, so I kept returning to Him. He answered this morning. In the shower. With a “No.” And there was total peace. All of a sudden, contentment returned. The thing I desired to change lost it’s importance.
Solomon declares in Ecclesiastes 1:2, “‘Vanity of vanities,’” says the Preacher; “‘Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.’” He’s saying, “Emptiness of emptiness – everything this world offers and dangles in front of us is ineffective, hopeless, unsuccessful, unproductive, and futile. Pride, conceit, narcissism, arrogance, and self-importance – it’s all worthless. A vapor.”
Isn’t our entire life a vapor? According to James 4:14, our life is “a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”
If our time here is but a breath, are we spending it chasing emptiness, or are we chasing the things that matter most to God? When we get caught in the downward spiral of discontentment, what do we do? How do we get back to the things of God?
Tune in Thursday! God answered that in the shower too!!!
Lord, by your grace, turn our hearts toward contentment as we become more wholly Yours today.