(August, 2010, six months before starting this WordPress blog)
Sitting in front of this new computer that bears no name—only a logo—I have determined that I will not fall in love with this thing. Thankfully, this is not the same temptation I had several years ago when we purchased a used Lexus. It was a simple, clean-lined automobile but beautiful in my eyes from the moment I saw it, sat in it, and drove it. Its satin ivory color was similar to this machine. We purchased it at the Toyota dealership near us. Jerry and his brother returned it when it continued leaking oil and could not be repaired. I so wanted to keep that car because of its design and its special interior features. Although I was not the least interested in the used gray Infiniti they brought home in its place, it has been a comfortable, dependable vehicle I have been blessed to drive for many years . The infatuation with the other car is revealed whenever I see others of that same model. I can spot it anywhere. The Lord must have given me the experience so that I would know my proneness to such temptation.
Love at First Byte
Since we bought this no-name computer I have yet to speak to anyone who has not said that they “love” theirs. Those who have family members with these machines also say that their brother and daughter “love” theirs. For some it may have been love at first byte. Understanding that when a person speaks of a thing that they “love,” it is much the same way in which the word “luck” is used; words that we hear often we seem to make part of our vocabulary. We hear Christians speak of their being “lucky” instead of thinking or speaking of God’s sovereign goodness and blessing.
It used to be that the signs of love were seen on a person’s finger. Former infatuations may have preceded and fallen by the wayside before that special person came into our lives with whom we covenanted to love “until death do us part.” Temporary signs are seen in a bouquet of flowers or other special gifts; and in faces that light up when we see or speak of the person we love; and in the wedding invitations and the ceremony. But years of commitment through the hard times are the true signs of love in a marriage.
As I continue through this wilderness into which our first parents brought us, I see many signs of love for the things of this world but not many signs of love for the things of God. I hear much spoken of things that we love here on this earth, but not many things spoken about the things of God and heaven. The signs of love for these things among the brethren of Christ are evident to unbelievers who love the same things. A scripture reference in Revelation speaks of “the mark of the beast on the forehead or the hand,” and the “merchants that buy and sell,” even “the souls of men.”
Our heavenly Father has never said that we cannot have, or enjoy the earthly things, but to recognize that they are blessings from Him. Knowing what our temptations would be, He has not only instructed us in how we are to look at these things, but He has given us a Savior and His Holy Spirit to work in us the deliverance from loving what is temporal, perishable, and corruptible. Neither of us is exempt from the temptations, and few are able to resist the things that we face everyday, whether they come by name or logo. If we can’t afford to buy them, we are tempted to covet them.
When our last computer died, I had hoped for this special computer which our pastor used and spoke of, (although I never heard him say that he loved his); but because Jerry was leaning toward a PC to replace the other one, the Lord enabled me to accept his leading. It did not matter what kind we bought, except that it be of equal quality as our last one. As the Lord worked through our pastor and Jerry to give us this one, I am committed to pray that it will not become a love object but the blessing that He has given for me to use for His glory.
I pray that as I become familiar with this machine that I can use it for the hallowing of His name, to speak of His kingdom, His grace, His love, and His glory, according to His will. I pray that it will be used to bring others to know and love the one who knows and loves us with an unfathomable love, our Father who has our “names written in the palm of His hand,” and in “the Lamb’s book of life;” and to know the Son, Jesus Christ, who, through His sacrifice, has given us the signs of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper to remember His love, forgiveness of sin, and the eternal inheritance that He has promised us in His Word.
I pray that we, together, will continue to “grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ”—that knowledge through which we are given “all things that pertain to life and godliness”—for His glory and our joy.
Fran 8/31/10 (Unedited excerpt from Growing Up and Growing Old, Gracefully)