The other day I picked my kids up after school and had already made plans to treat them to pizza and a movie as it was Friday. Earlier that day, I had taken the time to pick them each up a lunch and take it up to the school where I sat through their lunch periods with each one of them (side note: nothing says labor of love quite like sitting through a 3rd grade lunch period). After picking them up at the end of the day, I asked them (pointedly) what the best part of their day was, to which they each responded with how boring it was. I wasn’t looking for a pat on the back, and instead started teasing them, asking if my coming to lunch was boring. (Of course it wasn’t.) From there started the incessant whine for a treat. Again, because I had already planned something, I told them they’d have to wait. I had to make a couple other stops, and at each one was the droning of “Daddy, get me something.” It was definitely wearing on my nerves. I told them of my plans to let them pick out one movie and that I’d order pizza, and immediately they asked if they could have multiple movies.
Being the loving parent I am, I said “NO! You can help me pick out one movie, then we’re going home.” We made it over to the movie rental, and wouldn’t you know it, they argued about which movie to get and somehow got back to the thought that I should rent them multiple movies and some candy to settle the matter. I was fed up! Done! I canceled the movie rental and told them to get in the truck as we were leaving without any of it! Instantaneously, their dejected faces showed the realization of having continually asked me for stuff without ever having been grateful for what they had. We got back in the truck and had a long conversation about always asking for things with an “I want…” and never being appreciative of what we’ve been given. (After the talk, I went back and got the movie. I’m not that hard!)
We’ll laugh with other parents about how ridiculous our kids can be, but how easy is it to get caught up in the struggles of our everyday and, without realization, treat God like an “I want ___” claw machine. We wake up sore, “God heal me.” We struggle at work, “God give me another job.” We can’t get the kids to quiet down, “God give me peace.” Yes, God can do all these things! But is that all He is to you?
In Colossians 3:2 Paul wrote, “Set your mind on things above, not on things of this earth.” But interestingly, the King James Version puts this verse in a little different perspective; “Set your affection on things above, not on things of the earth.” AFFECTION means attraction or fondness; a type of love… Your affection is where your heart is, where your mind daydreams. The things on which you focus your time, energy, and thoughts.
The other day as my wife and I were sitting together on the couch watching TV, I put my arm around her and she laid her head on my chest. We weren’t asking each other for anything, we were just enjoying each other. In that moment, we were together as a couple, affectionate and enjoying love…
As often as God is putting His arm around us, when was the last time you just laid your head upon His chest with no other agenda, just quality quiet time, where you set your affection on Him? Today is a new day… the start of a new week at work, school or whatever your life holds. Start it right. Take the time this morning to rest your head upon Him and instead of telling Him what you need, just tell Him how much you love His presence in your life! Set your affection on things above, not on things of this earth!
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our positive thoughts contributor.