...those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.
Thoughts for Today:[Previously, Paul gave us three obstacles which prevent us from fully committing to an eternal agenda. Today we will take a look at the fourth and final in our series: "My Hobbies".]
A friend of mine picked up the game of golf late in life. When he was young he just didn't have the time to play with all the constraints of marriage, children, career, mortgage, and faith-based responsibilities placed upon his schedule. That is until he turned 50, when suddenly he had an abundance of free time and caught the golf bug completely. From that point on, every spare moment was spent on the golf course. Almost everything else has suffered as a result. Most of us know from experience: Too much enthusiasm for anything (especially recreational pastimes) will cause a lot of harm to our relationships -- especially with the Lord.
In our passage today, the English word "engrossed" is translated from the Greek word "katachraomai". It suggests an over-preoccupation with worldly interests. Paul tells us the world as we know it, is coming to a close. So there's no point in being hyper-enthusiastic about our joys (nor emotional wrecks over our losses). It's all destined to vanish. Yet many of us still struggle to find some type of balance. Why? Because we live in a culture that demands a major commitment of time and energy to become expert at our vocations as well as our hobbies. To what point? Paul's warning is simply this: As we find joy in the fruits of this world, to not forget it is temporary, and ultimately destined to pass away.
Certainly there is nothing wrong with taking pleasure in the things of this world. After all, God created it for us to use. However, the problem comes in when we become so engrossed and engaged with the world, that we lose sight of where we're going. The Lord intended life on this earth to be more meaningful than spending our time pursuing material accomplishments or chasing a little white ball around a golf course.
Questions to Ponder:In Ephesians 1:18a Paul writes: "I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you..." It's Paul's wake-up call to each of us. He asks us to use our God-given spiritual eyes so we might see through the veil of the material world and into eternity. Have you become too engrossed in your hobbies? Overly enthusiastic about a recreational pastime or vocational interest? Don't forget this world is passing away and is temporary at best. Where are you investing your time and passion? In the work of the Lord or something else?