So, yesterday, I found myself in need of a new watch. Rather, say not that I needed a new one, but that I rather desired a new one. While we were in Family Dollar yesterday, to buy my companion a desk lamp, one of the watches at the front desk caught my eye. It looked good. Stainless steel, with three dials, month, date, and one dial that I still don't know what it's for. I checked out the price tag, and was shocked to see that it was only $8.00. Snag that one, I said. Picking it up and congratulating myself on being such a savvy businessman, I bought it and took it home.
It looks something like that. Now, that's a mighty handsome watch, I thought as I cut through the packaging. Pulling off the bit of plastic that held the crown away from the body, I began to adjust it, to try to move the date hand to the 1st of September. However, after about thirty seconds of watching the hands go around the face, I realized that I had been taken in. This watch, almost too good to be true, had turned out to be just that. My desire to get something good for less led me to get just what I paid for: a normal, good looking watch, with three extra dials glued onto the face.
So, not so savvy.
Sometimes, we do the same thing in life. We look at something, and say to ourselves, "Now that's nice." Whether it's a car, or a nice house, a boat, for me it might be a good set of books or a computer, we say, "Dang. If I had that, I would be happy." It begins to occupy our thoughts, and we begin to obsess. When we get it, we open it with relish, only to find out that this package doesn't contain happiness. It only contains a product of the world.
The best things in life are never easy. I'm trying to lose weight by eating less, because I believe the end goal to be worth it. My companion and I teach people every day a message that is radically different from the world and its standards. Obeying these rules would place most people out of their comfort zones. In this world, it is not popular for people to not drink coffee. It's not popular for young men to just give up two years of their life and about ten thousand dollars to serve God. It's not easy.
It's not meant to be.
The greatest gift that God has for us is eternal life. As a friend of mine once said, "There's only one thing that we need to change in order to go to heaven: Everything." It made me laugh then, but it's true. If we truly expect to be in God's kingdom, we must give up everything and trust in Christ. He has paid the price for us, and is willing to help us. If only we would allow him to help us, we could be happy. And this is the kind of happiness that lasts, joy.
I know this is true. Although I am a bit disappointed at myself for buying what I should have known would be an inferior product, I am happy because I am doing what is right. God loves us. He's made a way for us. If we, as disciples of Christ, hope to follow his example, we must be prepared for our own small moments in Gethsemane. It's difficult. But it is oh so worth it.