Whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God (James 4:4)
There is a long list in my mind which has filled the past two weeks. Included on the list are two different, but equally expensive tax situations. There is an unsold, unoccupied property in southern Indiana with my name on the deed and a steady stream of bills arriving daily. There are holes in our roof, through which raccoons have moved in. I suspect they are burrowed in the fluffy, gray insulation, raising a gang of baby coons in our attic. They are NOT welcome! There will be a cost to kick out the coons and patch the holes.
I was sick last week, dragged down with fatigue, fever, sore throat and myalgias. After five days, my immune system beat back the virus. It retreated, leaving an occasional coughing spasm, residual evidence of the illness.
Since our most recent Citrix upgrade, I have not had touch screen capability with Epic in the office. My Surface Pro 3 is limping along with failing “o” and backspace keys and a worthless stylus.
I could almost feel guilty about how my mind is eaten up with so much that is temporal, worldly. Am I a friend of the world? Have I bought into this system? Is the highest degree of success in this existence accomplished by dealing with each of these situations?
James starts his fourth chapter with a discussion about quarrels and fighting, emerging from the tangled mess of struggling desires within each one of us. We don’t get what we want because we don’t ask. We ask and don’t receive because we ask merely to satiate the desire of the moment.
It’s difficult to precisely define what it means to be a friend of the world. My sense is that this is a question of priorities. What is MOST important? Which desire is at the top of the list? The goal of friendship with the world will put us in opposition to God.
God yearns with jealousy over the spirit that he put within us. Our eternal soul is a gift from the Creator. He understands what will fulfill us infinitely more than we do. He longs for us to entrust Him with that eternal soul. Seeking purpose in Him will lead to fulfillment and joy.
It was great to put some paperwork in the mail and get these tax situations behind us. I look forward to the roof guys returning tomorrow to fix the holes. We will continue to be presented with obstacles on a regular basis. We use resources entrusted to us and problem solve. A healthy dose of eternal perspective brings balance to the temporal. Keep the world at arm’s-length and be a friend of God!