God has given us much good stuff to enjoy but He’s also given the best stuff, His love and salvation, His peace and joy and righteousness. It’s our choice. Do we want lots of good stuff? Or His very best?

Eternal Perspectives               by Sally Bair

Good versus Best

After my pup had been fed, pampered, and petted, all she wanted to do was play. Every new toy she owned became her favorite for a while. Sometimes her obsession for toys was so great, she carried two toys around at once.

Her passion for play reminded me of toys we tend to seek out.” At one time my obsession for quilting caused me to eat, sleep, and dream about quilts. And reading has always been a favorite pastime. My guess is that you could substitute your own toy-obsessions. Watching TV. Playing video or cell phone games. Sports. Hanging out with family or friends. The list goes on.

There’s nothing wrong with hobbies or interests. It’s only when they become obsessive that we risk losing out on a close relationship with God our Father and his Son, Jesus Christ, the One who made it possible to enjoy life’s toys. Psalm 119, all 176 verses, speaks about putting God’s Word first. We know how easy it is to put other things first, so the psalmist tells us to “Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way. (Verse 37) The Message translation says: “Divert my eyes from toys and trinkets; invigorate me on the pilgrim way.”

Some translations use the word vanity instead of worthless. We think of vanity as taking too much pride in our appearance or achievements. It actually means having the quality of being pointless. I like the way the Message translates vanity as toys and trinkets—things that give us fleeting satisfaction. On the other hand, the things of the Lord will revive and restore us to wholeness. Unlike my pup, I’d rather opt for being revived than being obsessed about playing with good but pointless toys. And that comes only from following God’s ways.

The world offers endless good stuff that can be legal, pleasant, relaxing and uplifting. For instance, our national parks give great opportunities to enjoy and learn from nature. In fact, pursuing nature in any way can become addictive.

Trouble is, as good as the pursuits, hobbies and enjoyments we choose, they don’t compare the best pursuit—that of enjoying the presence of God through His Word and prayer. The Bible tells us to love Him above all others and our neighbor as ourselves. It also says we should “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)

Lord, You know we need time to relax.  Point out our vanities, the good but meaningless things in our lives, and give us the compulsion to seek You first and foremost so we can relax in and be revived by Your presence and Word. In Jesus’ name, amen.