A question I get frequently since coming back from Poland is "What's it like being back?"
It's taken me a while to honestly answer this question, and the answer is: it's hard.
It's not hard because of culture shock. It's not hard because of getting used to a time difference. It's not hard because of anything most people might think.
It's hard because while I was in Poland, I was on a mission. I had a focus, and a reason for being there. And that was hard in itself. But coming home has been hard because it's so easy to get distracted.
You heard me. Distracted by my future. Distracted by television shows. Distracted by books. Distracted by movies. Distracted by friends. Distracted by facebook, by Instagram, by Pinterest. Distracted by you name it. It is so easy to be distracted and deceived.
And what am I distracted from? From Jesus. Hello
It's so easy in this world to get distracted for what really matters, to believe lies, to think that what people think of us, our achievements, our success, our popularity, our reputation is what matters. But all of that fails and fades. It doesn't last. It's a distraction that keeps us from what truly matters.
I've also been anxious, worried, stressed, depressed, and angry.
And my focus hasn't been just by my own junk, but also on all of the sad things going on around the world, like Robin Williams death and the situation in the Middle East.
In the wake of realizing the pit of my distraction, my preoccupation with the world, I started spending some pretty hardcore time in God's Word, specifically Colossians.
Over and over and over again it talks about what truly matters. Or rather who truly matters.
"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory."
Boom. There's the focus from distractions.
Honestly, Colossians is pretty hardcore, so if you've never read it, you should. You should also read it with pen and paper in hand. It's rich stuff.
But this passage was my wake up call. Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.
This world is so deceptive.
Don't believe me? There are a lot of tell-tale symptoms: Are you worried about your future? Are you consumed with how you're going to pay off debt? Are you anxious because you want to be successful or popular or have accomplishments or achievements. Are you worried about what people think about you or if you'll ever get married. Or your weight? Or whether your life has meaning? Or all of the imaginable things that take up a significant amount of your brain space.
Don't be deceived.
"The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever."
1 John 2: 17
Jesus said, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
The next time you despair about your life situations, believe the world's lies about what the good life really looks like, become really sad over the situations around the world, or distracted by everything that the world has to offer, hold onto this truth: this world is dying, and it will pass away. But Jesus and belief in him is eternal. Faith in Jesus is what truly matters. He doesn't bring stress or anxiety or depression. He brings peace amidst a chaotic world.
So take heart, because Jesus has overcome the world, and set your mind on things above.
Life sure is a lot easier with things in perspective.
Shalom! I'm Madi, a laughter-loving, movie-going, spontaneous-dancing, follower of Christ. Join me as I seek glimpses of God's grace in the ordinary and everyday.
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She Laughs Without Fear