Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Mirage of Turkish Delight

As I was searching through the internet history on my computer recently, I made a discovery.  I realized:

1. Everything I have looked at was recorded
2. Erasing the internet history doesn't erase what I might have done during my time online.

I think this is a very important concept to remember:  Whatever we do online does not somehow go away simply by clicking the "delete history" button (or by using the Go incognito feature).

Imagine if we had record of how we spent our time in day to day life.  It showed every conversation we took part in, every social event we attended, every emotion we felt, every choice regarding food, entertainment, money spent, people we hung out with, etc.  Now, imagine looking back ten years from now on a decade's worth of logged history.  Do you suppose each one of us would smile and praise God for how we chose to use the time He gave us all those years?  Or would we cringe in regret, feel shame, wish we could redeem the time and have a retake, or try to ensure no one getting access to such history?

A scary and sobering thought is as Covenant Eyes stated, "What we do online impacts our lives offline."  Whether it is the regular consumption of pornography, sex chatting, wasting hours each day on YouTube, or obsessively checking the social media accounts of your crush or even your enemies, all sin has a starting point and begins with our thoughts, then creeps into our actions online (indulging in sin away from the eyes or knowledge of others in front of a TV or computer screen can lead to unforeseen bad decisions -- all because it was easy to get away with and nobody else knew).  Pretty soon we find ourselves doing what we would have never imagined.  All sin has a starting point and it is imperative to remember that it isn't the mistress or Turkish Delight it pretended to be upon our beginning exposure.

You see, friends, it is so easy to let the precious hours God gives us dwindle away to nothing as we choose to watch and follow three different sitcoms through each of the new seasons, or aimlessly spend time on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram as though what we will behold is worthy of us exchanging hours of our lives for it.  But where are our choices leading us?  And are the decisions we make moment by moment, hour by hour, day by day (until our time on this earth is up - Psalm 139: 16 - or Christ returns) bringing about spiritual maturity and the fruit of the Spirit - Galatians 5: 22-23?  Will they result in hearing our Lord's merciful and loving welcoming, "Well done, good and faithful servant" on the day we stand before Him (whether that be tomorrow or sixty years from now)?

I encourage you all (myself included) to live each day as though it were your last.  Live in such a manner that you maintain your walk with God and closeness with your family or spouse.  Write a list of goals you'd like to accomplish the following week every Sunday evening so you have a game plan for the rest of the week instead of just winging it and then looking back & thinking, "Where has the time gone?  I haven't spent it in a productive manner!"  As a close friend of mine has said (paraphrase), "If we find ourselves saying there isn't enough time in the day for all we need or would like to accomplish, then we aren't spending our hours as God would have us to."  What she meant, I believe, is that we all have God-given roles and responsibilities, hobbies and interests, people to see and places to go...but if we cannot fit everything in the day that we'd like to (yet strive toward this end) and as a result, our walk with God and relationships with our spouse or family suffer and are put on the back burner, then we need to reevaluate the hours in each day and make the necessary changes in order to fulfill the precious roles God has graciously granted.

"Wise time management doesn't mean you do more, but more of what matters most." Craig Groeschel

"You'll know you are living on purpose when you do things each day that are not urgent, or required that day, but vital to longer term goals." Henry Cloud

Even if our day to day lives seem boring in comparison to how we perceive the lives of others (often inaccurately), we must choose hour by hour to attend to the chores (which may seem tedious) or tasks that day requires of us.  If you feel bored in life and desire a greater thrill than just the mundane, a great perspective to have is being thankful that despite what feels to us as lacking fun, at least we are being true to Christ (as we esteem, apply, cherish, and obey His word) and managing the roles, finances, and relationships He has called us to in this season of life.  We can be thankful that we are at home, school, or work and by fearing God & remaining focused on Him in all things, we are avoiding the unpleasant consequences of evil (which those who live an unbridled life sadly face within time).

A simple life where we have taken care to plan our days, prioritize, and stay true to God's word will bring a joy, peace, satisfaction, contentment, and fulfillment that even the most pleasurable yet ungodly activities or surroundings could not.


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