Vanity of Vanities - Thoughts of Thoughts
I've been thinking a lot.
Ecclesiastes says it so well, what I think, lately. "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity! What advantage does man have in all his work, which he does under the sun? A generation goes, a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. ... is there anything of which one might say, "see this, it is new"? Already it has existed for ages which were before us."
I've just taken to sitting back and watching things. And you know what I've found? I'm an extremely vain human being. Everything I do, has an underlying pursuit to make myself look or feel good, and I really can't do anything about it except continue to let God change me.
It blows me away. I spend money on things that I think will make me prettier, when that money could so easily go to allowing an orphan live a life - their idea of luxury being clean WATER.
Who am I?
Then, I continue to watch those around me.
We pursue so many things that we feel will fulfill us.
Gluttony on anything good.
Or maybe its just... little things.
A touch here.
Getting our affirmation from those around us rather then God.
Living for the pleasure of the moment.
I'm convicted, to be honest.
There's a fine line between living IN the moment and possessing divine opportunity to choose to have joy in it, because one is living for God.
There's another to live for the pleasure of the moment itself.
And I wonder, when do we get off track?
Its certainly not a sudden, "bam, I've decided to get off-track" sort of deal.
Its always gradual. Satan knows we're not stupid. We're not going to fall for the obvious.
But His strategy is clear: get the frog in the pot of lukewarm water, and THEN put it over heat. Over time, the water will boil, and the frog will get burnt.
THIS is the strategy of the enemy. And this is how Christianity becomes dull and dead: when people are no longer Alive.
Tonight, I enjoyed myself, spending time with friends.
I noted how I found myself watching the couples around me, all in each others faces, and I could tell which ones had already been down the physical road, and which one's were still exploring the boundaries.
I felt like I was intruding, and yet, they were so public that it was hard not to catch SOMETHING.
Then I found myself at an ultimatum: Did I want something shallow for the pleasure of now, or did I want something REAL, and Godly and beautiful for later? Because its not that I have someone, and its not that I would ever go so far, but you know? It ALL starts when you've concluded in your mind that its OK. That its okay to settle. That easy pleasure is okay. That its okay just to date around. That its okay just to kiss around. That its okay to flirt around.
And you know what? In my little heart, its not.
This heart is for the Lord. This heart wants to do good by her husband all the days of her life : she wants his heart to safely trust her.
So I was just checking out NIV for something and I came accidentally across this verse - and my normal versions don't quite say it this way, but I believe this is probably the best said, of them all:
Proverbs 20:6, "Many a man claims unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?"
The contrast here? Hello: black and white.
One can say all they want, but when the rubber meets the road, how will the person follow through.
I would like to be a woman of my word.
When I say something, I want to mean it.
Its probably why I'm more hesitant to promise things, because I take my promises seriously. Its a covenant I bind myself to. And well I should.
So when I promise the Lord that I will not take hold of my love life, I cannot go back on it.
This: in its entirety, covers my whole relationship spectrum, from family to frienemies.
Integrity, I guess, is important.
Yet, integrity is rarely ever thought of anymore.
Vanity of vanities. All is vanity. There is so much emphasis on feeling good, and whats in it for me, and material and meaningless banter alongs.
I guess its great for connections, but what will be worth my time?
I told someone just the other day that I pray that every time they talk to me they'd be blessed about God, because if they weren't, there's no point in talking at all, really, is there?
I guess I could choose to be as rawly human as possible.
But I like to think I'm wonder woman and that I should get it right every time, the FIRST time around. I try not to cuss, I try not to get angry about stupid stuff, I try to be as patient as I can be - and then I get disappointed in myself when I can't accomplish it the first time, or the second.
But, it almost seems vain to stay that way and not try again.
Why would I take pride in looking like the rest of the world. I promised Him my life. Why would it be okay for me not to give it to Him 100% every single day?
Why don't I?
Why can't I?
"For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want." Rom. 7:19
Because... I can't, as long as I struggle with the very nature of my sinful flesh.
Sigh. Its so ingrained in us that sometimes I'm amazed by it. We're SO VAIN. WE DO think the song is about us. We DO think things are about us. We believe people think about us more then they really do, we think that it'll be okay if we look prettier, or more attractive to those we want to attract attention from.
You know what I find beautiful in a human being with such human traits?
The one's who know that we're vain; that all is vanity and that we don't measure up to true selflessness.
I want this beauty. Not because it will glorify myself! But because my heart is inclined towards the things of Jesus and Jesus was humble.
I don't understand how He came down here and limited Himself to such a state.
Didn't the futility of dead-living drive Him crazy all the time? And yet His copasity of love must have driven Him more mad for His bride. How didn't He explode?
I'm just really humbled right now. I'm not perfect. I'm not wonder woman. I can't do anything right apart from God. And guess what - at this point? I'm clinging to that, and somehow, it brings peace into all of my chaos.
And yet, I so easily get swayed because of the outside stuff that catches my attention - the vanity of vanities... I'm just so glad the Lord never gives up on those who call on Him with all their hearts... I'm just really, really glad.