7Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7, KJV).
Several of my previous posts have touched on the subject of complacency and stagnancy, which exist on physical, spiritual, and mental levels, just to name a few. Discontentment and the inability to derive lasting satisfaction are its polar opposites, yet states equally to be feared. This is particularly true as it relates to earthly pursuits. Either of these extremes places us in grave risk of losing focus on God as the center of our hearts. When we fall victim to the lure of worldly temptations and distractions, we find ourselves in an inexhaustible race for a subsequent thrill, chasing after the high of the next accomplishment.
We experience momentary satisfaction because of a given achievement. It is short-lived and replaced by a sudden and striking sense of emptiness. In other words, once the celebration is over, we begin seeking out the next challenge. It becomes an obsession.
We may be excelling in one aspect of our lives as we jump from one secured goal to the next, but other parts of our lives invariably begin to suffer. One facet that suffers is our spirituality, specifically our faith and relationship with Christ Jesus. We begin to function on autopilot, giving up the driver’s seat. We go through the motions of life, tackling one obstacle and then another all the while forgetting to laugh, smile, and appreciate the small things.
Even if we make the time for church, our thoughts can begin to wander to considerations such as what to cook for dinner, the never-ending tasks awaiting us at work, and the many loads of laundry let to be folded. The list would be endless if left to our own devices.
Our lives begin to pass by without us even realizing it. We make empty promises and lose the meaning of the things that used to matter the most. In a fast-paced society where multitasking reigns supreme, we have had to keep up in order to survive, let alone thrive. As a result, we end up forgetting to live our best spiritual lives. We are unaware that the goals we originally set have shifted, and nonetheless consume us. What were once priorities no longer fit the given circumstances.
Rather than stressing ourselves about which new high will occupy us next, we should allocate our resources, and attention, to bettering ourselves spiritually. We should not rest until we come to truly know God, which is ultimately achieved when we return to dust and ashes. It is time to stop, realize, and appreciate all that God has provided for each one of us.
Nothing would be possible without the gifts and talents He provides us. While God bestows us with all the necessary things, and often more than that, they are meant to be used like anything else…in moderation. We can accomplish good works for the sake of others, but too much devotion to these skills allows for the undesirable fixation upon earthly possessions and talents. Generally speaking, it is okay to better ourselves, just not to the point of losing sight of God.