It's what every motivational speaker, corporate trainer, and coach of any kind will tell you: keep the end in mind.
In the process of downsizing our lives to make more room for things that really matter, I am downsizing some of the "stuff" around me. This weekend's task is the kitchen. I cried yesterday. A lot. And this morning. A lot. I NEED 5 pie plates. Well, I might need them. Even though I usually just use the disposable tin ones, I might need my 5 pie plates someday. What if I'm making pies for someone's dinner party - well, my 5 wouldn't work, because they don't coordinate well with each other - so I would have to buy some that match better. And then I would have 7 pie plate. Or 8. Or, I could just borrow pie plates from other people. Which then asks the question, what exactly do I need my 5 pie plates for?
I see your eyes rolling at me. My area of holding on to things is in the kitchen. But you have your own sweet spot.
So, let's follow the advice and keep the end in mind. The visual picture pops up so clearly. Wouldn't it be lovely to open the cabinet and have the one pie plate I love just sitting by itself so that when I need it, I just have to reach up and grab it?
That does sound really peaceful. Let me sit a little while and daydream about it.
OK. I'm back. I guess keeping the end in mind is great motivation.
It's why you discipline your children when you're tired. It's why you don't eat that second piece of cake when you're sad. It's why you study when you'd rather loose yourself in a movie.
And, as those in Christ, it is why we don't quit. It's why when we suffer, we can count it joy - why we don't loose heart. Why we don't give up and give in.
Paul wrote that this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison (2 Cor 4:17).
I am by no means comparing sorting through extra pie plates with cancer, death, persecution, or starvation. I am saying the Truth is still here. Keeping the end in mind lets us walk with confidence... knowing that we have a God who is for us, and who is walking with us in the shadows.
LORD, help me today to really keep the end in mind. Help me live with an eternal perspective. Help me love the people around me in a way that points them to the hope of Jesus. Whether I'm sorting through laundry or sorting out emotions, please quicken my thoughts to turn to You. Help me see that pie plates are pie plates - and that the huge devastation of this world are ways You can show me Your Sovereignty and Grace. Help me cling to You.