When we recently moved to the house we are currently in, we got an extra bonus with some “smart home” features. Far from a ‘techie,’ I quickly got frustrated in the first week. When I didn’t know how most of it worked, I began to become irritable. This is not a growth, learning, or curiosity mindset.
This is a problem. Why do I expect to get everything on the first try? What leads to seeking accomplishment over growth? This is not who I want to be or what I want to impart to my wife or child or others. This is the way of the world. Busy. Hurried. Trying to do more and more. Have you also caught these moments where you have forgotten the powerful God we serve? Oh how we can fall into “The Hurried Spiritual Life” (click to see my blog post on the topic). Worth and value is so easily tied to performance and accomplishment. But with the Lord it is not so (here’s a couple kickin’ passages on the topic: John 9, Psalm 46:10).
2 Corinthians 4:18 reminds us to “look not to the things that are seen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” Prior to this in verses 16-17, we’re reminded not to lose heart while our earthly bodies are wasting away, and affliction creates a ‘weight of glory’ (an excellent C.S. Lewis book, fyi). Suffering and hurt is inevitable in this world- it will either break you or build you. Romans 8:18-19 reminds us, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.” This is a growth mindset.
Getting the lights to work in my house isn’t significant suffering. First world problems. But the reality still exists: suffering exists in many forms, both extreme and small. I have experienced both, and I will experience more. My focus when I get frustrated over things not going my way is so often earthly- temporal. It’s results-driven, not growth oriented. It’s accomplishment over development. It’s the ‘click’ over the long road of growth. Becoming insta-famous over being faithful in the little things. So I will keep turning my eyes to Christ in each and every thing.
Prayer: Lord, I thank you for your unending love and longsuffering with us. I ask that you’d make me humble and open my heart to you- to what you are doing and continuing to do in the world and through me. I ask you to fill me with your Spirit to make known fruit so that I can be patient and gracious with others- who also suffer. I ask that you’d speak through me and that I’d listen as you speak through others. In Christ, Amen.
“Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2).