If I just had those clothes.
If I just had that purse.
If I just had that car.
If I just had that house.
If I just had that job or that bank account.
If I just had that marriage.
Or, on the opposite hand:
I can’t imagine wearing those clothes.
Where did she get that purse? Goodwill?
The thought of driving that car. Gross.
How can they stand to live in that house?
Etc., etc., etc.
If we are not mindful of being sure to take every thought captive as Paul instructs the Church in 2 Corinthians, it is not if these strongholds of comparison and false superiority will consume us, it is when.
I was on a walk with my toddler over the weekend, and honestly, I am completely ashamed to even be sharing this story. It makes me sick to my stomach that these thoughts even crossed my mind, but it pulls me back and it reminds me of how desperately in need I am of the Author and Perfecter.
So, we’re walking, and as much as I’m entertaining the babblings of my 1-year-old, I’m on my phone frantically searching for some workout gear I had seen one of my girlfriends wearing that I just had to have. About that time, a fellow young mama was pulling into our neighborhood in what had to be a brand spanking new car.
And at that moment, almost as if on autopilot, I caught myself walking faster to make sure she saw me walk into my cute little house with my brand-new car parked out front.
I wanted to make sure she knew that I was cool too. I couldn’t tell you who this chick was from Adam, but by George, she was going to think I had it going on. Yeah, I know. Insane. I’m genuinely repulsed at myself.
But isn’t it so human? That I, a mist, a vapor, that appears for a little while and then vanishes (James 4:14), if even for a fleeting moment, succumbed to the innate desire of my humanity to be somebody. Maybe even to be better than somebody else. All the while searching for an expensive piece of clothing (that I really couldn’t afford) so I could keep up with someone else.
All at once, I was more than and not enough.
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ… (2 Corinthians 10:5).
From birth, our hearts are sick. Mine especially. Desperately wicked, in fact (Jeremiah 17:9). We are set in front of a world that promises to fulfill us, to satisfy us, to cure us. All the while, the same world is changing with the wind. Fads. Obsessions. Shiplap is in. Shiplap is out. Wear this brand. That brand is so not in. This year, drive this car, but next year you have to upgrade to stay relevant. This phone. Those shoes.
The void is bottomless, and the mad dash to keep up is exhausting. Trends change with the seasons. The new becomes the old. Clothes and shoes. Even the most luxurious cars lose their value. But hallelujah, there is One who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Whose yolk is easy and whose burden is light. There is a place where a weary soul can find rest (Matthew 11:28-30). There is a table we can feast at and hunger no more. There is a cup of Living Water that will not run dry (John 6:35).
In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like a garment.
You will roll them up like a robe;
like a garment they will be changed.
But you remain the same,
and your years will never end (Hebrews 1:10-12).
Today, may we turn our attention from the material things of this world and focus our eyes on the eternity written on our hearts. May we hunger and may we be fed. May we taste and see the goodness of Jesus as we wait for heaven.