Trading Good for Best

In two days, I will have my one year WordPress anniversary. This is my 77th post (which doesn’t include the handful in my drafts folder…contrary to popular belief, sometimes thoughts aren’t really worth sharing). On big days like this, it makes sense to take a step back and see the big picture. Big pictures are not always my strength. I tend to focus so much on the details that I forget why I was focused on them in the first place. They become ends in themselves instead of means to something greater.

During the past year, I’ve gotten this tunnel vision on a lot of things: weight loss podcasts, cleaning, hair care, gardening, Monster Legends (lol!), making food from scratch, and even writing a blog post every day for a month. All of these things can be good things when enjoyed from the security of finding my identity, sustenance, and foundation in Jesus. This was true for me some of the time. When I find that I’m investing too much time chasing after something else, I typically toss it out of my life (an appropriate choice for things like Monster Legends). It becomes tricky when those things are needed in every day life, like cleaning and hair care.

So, how do I as a Christian measure whether these things are taking a healthy place in my life? There are a couple of things that I’ve picked up from different places (like sermons, books, and workshops) that have been helpful for me to gauge whether something good or neutral is starting to take the place of what’s best.

  • What is driving my decisions in life? I’m a part of a Facebook community for people with wavy hair. It’s been a great resource for me to figure out the information that I ignored when I was an adolescent. However, there are some people who take pictures of their hair every day and post them on the group, fret about their decisions about what hair product will give their hair more or less ______ (fill in the blank), and schedule their lives around their hair. If my hair is driving my decisions, it is distracting me from what should be.
  • When I’m not thinking about anything, what do I think about? This just means, “What does my thinking naturally gravitate toward?” In Psalm 1:2 (and many other places in the Bible), it says that a person is blessed when “his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.” I want my thoughts to drift toward God all day long, not what I ate for breakfast or what steps I need to take to get my plants to survive.
  • I become what I behold. What am I beholding? I spent over a year listening to weight loss podcasts every chance I got. There were times when I stepped back and took a break from them, but in the grand scheme of things, I spent a lot of time beholding a certain weight loss philosophy perspective. It’s one that I happen to support and tend to agree with most of the time. When I spend that much time putting myself in front of one thing, it begins to shape how I think and act. While it’s not bad for someone who is trying to lose weight to study the habits of someone who has already lost the weight, it’s not the best thing for me as a Jesus follower to invest so much of my time in.

I’m not saying that I’ve wasted a year of my life. I’ve learned very necessary skills that I should have probably learned much earlier in life. I’ve developed a better mindset and perspective on weight loss and health. What I’m saying is that it’s time for me to focus on something greater. I’m tired of spending so much time looking in the mirror and at other people. I want to look into the face of Jesus, and, as I behold Him, I pray that I will become more like Him.

 

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