A Tale of Two Homeowners*
Once upon a time, there were two homeowners: Edith and Kate.
Edith lived in the single most dilapidated shack that has ever disgraced the planet. Broken planks in the floors. Gaping holes in the roof. Postage-stamp yard. No running water. Outdoor “facilities.” Cesspool in the back.
Kate, on the other hand, lived in the single most ornate mansion that has ever graced an artist’s easel. Ornately designed marble flooring. Artistic solar paneled roof. Estate-manor yard. Stand-alone water ecosystem. Gold-plated toilets. Mosaicked swimming pool in the back.
Now it so happened that Elon Musk wanted to use both Edith’s and Kate’s land to build a care facility for the community. In his appeal for their property, he offered to build each of them a mansion with ornately designed marble flooring, artistic solar paneled roof, estate-manor yard, stand-alone water ecosystem, gold-plated toilets, and a mosaicked swimming pool in the back!
Now, which of the two homeowners do you think jumped at the offer? Remember! You can’t say “Both,” because, as we all know, “You can’t have your Kate and Edith too!” [duh-dut . . . tish!] So, stay on task!
The question is hardly a riddle. Surely, Edith will jump at the chance, while Kate will be less inclined, and, more likely, even disinclined to accept the “deal.” For Kate, Musk’s proposal is really “no big deal” at all, and it certainly is not “i-deal.” There simply is nothing much more to be gained for her. Edith, on the other hand, gets it. The prospect of moving from a shack to a mansion makes her decision the ultimate “no-brainer.” She sees this as the ideal choice. But do you see that when she literally “gets it,” she will be just like Kate: satisfied with her temporal mansion and narcotized from longing for an eternal one.
Ever wonder why YOUR world isn’t ideal, let alone THE world? It may be a greater blessing than you thought!
You see, the world IN ITS PRESENT STATE is not our intended home; it’s only an overnight hotel. God is going to restore IT and US to the ORIGINAL PRISTINE STATE that characterized His entire creation at the get-go. And, trust me, in the fully realized Kingdom of God Kate’s temporal mansion will look far worse than Edith’s shack when compared to our eternal “home.”
Sad to say, keeping up with the Joneses is often more important to us than stopping to smell the roses. Come to think of it, we can learn an important lesson by stopping to smell roses. When we lean in to smell their petals, we sometimes get pricked by their thorns. But, rather than curse and make matters worse, we should praise their worth and pine for rebirth. The thorns let us know that this is not the perfect world God has planned for us from the beginning.
And the rose is not our only tutor. All nature is God’s faculty!
Think of it . . . .
Flowers bloom and perfume, but they shrink and stink.
Food is delicious and often nutritious, consumed in its proper time,
but oh how obnoxious and, yes, even noxious
if eaten after the deadline.
Relationships empower . . . but they also sour.
People hail us . . . and they fail us.
Our bodies weaken and die.
But don’t be discouraged by the trials and hardships of life! We’re in the zone between the “already” and “not yet” of God’s kingdom. Hardships do not stand in the way of God’s plan of redemption, they are an essential part of it because they show us the futility of worshipping creation instead of the Creator, and they steer us from looking for love in all the wrong places.* Life’s pleasures were not intended to satisfy us, much less save us. Neither were life’s hardships intended to plague us, much less kill us. Life’s pleasures are a foretaste of glory divine; its hardships incentive to leave it behind.
Lord, Let Your Kingdom Come in Its Fullness!
*This blog was prompted by reflection on the March 29 entry found in Paul Tripp’s excellent devotional entitled New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional. Wheaton, ILL: Crossway, 2014.