Earlier this week, my daughters asked me if I could pick up some Talenti gelato from the grocery store. They wanted the Mint Cookie Crunch flavor. (I think they chose that one because they know their dad and I don’t like mint-flavored ice cream, which meant they would have it all to themselves!)
Of course, the store had Caramel Cookie Crunch (which is what I’d have chosen for myself), Old World Eggnog, Sicilian Pistachio, and Almond Butter and Honey, among others….but no Mint Cookie Crunch. I didn’t want to choose a flavor they didn’t like, so I left the store without it. There were too many choices and I didn’t want to make the wrong one!
(The story did have a happy ending for them; I ran into another store later and found the flavor they wanted.)
We’re faced with many choices every day. From what to eat for breakfast to what to wear to which driving route will have the least traffic, it can be overwhelming.
We also make spiritual choices on a daily basis. And many of those boil down to whether we want to be God-focused or world-focused.
This quote from Ann Voskamp in her book One Thousand Gifts is what got me thinking this way.
“Communion with God, what was broken in the Garden, this is wholly restored when I want the God-communion more than I want the world-consumption.”
The pull of the world around us is strong. We have to make a conscious choice if we want to experience communion with God.
I’m reminded of Colossians 3:2 which says, “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”
Affection is a fondness for or attachment to something. And “set” is a very definite word. The fact that we’re told to “set our affections” must mean it’s easy for our affections to wander. But “set” means you’ve chosen what you want to be attached to, and you’re moving in that direction. It’s a focused mindset that’s not easily changed.
We will want the God-communion more when we feed that part of ourselves. Digging into His Word, meditating on it, and memorizing it will grow our desire to be like Him.
On the other hand, if we feed the world consumption, that is the desire that will grow in us. We’ll want more material possessions or recognition and status even though we know those things can’t satisfy us.
It’s so easy to get roped into placing all of our eggs in this one basket of the temporal, of what we can see and touch right now. It’s much harder to live with our future eyes and see what matters most.
God-communion takes time. It’s like any other relationship. We don’t just have to be sitting down and reading our Bible all day. Listening to sermons or podcasts that challenge us spiritually, playing good music, going to church or a Bible study, and reading books that teach Biblical truths can all be a part of our time with God.
This communion also means getting rid of known sin in our lives and asking God to reveal any unknown sin. The Holy Spirit can take the Word of God and apply it to our hearts and lives. It’s a daily work of God, not of me. It’s allowing Him to use every little circumstance, every seeming interruption, to mold me into His image.
Consumption means that we’re just consuming, using up what the world offers us. In the end, it’s all gone because it doesn’t last.
Communion is intimate fellowship. It grows and becomes greater the longer we do it. After all, we will spend eternity communing with God and other believers.
So you know what we’ll never regret? Choosing communion. But it’s not one and done. If we choose communion today, that doesn’t mean we’ll never have to struggle with consumption. It’s a daily, sometimes an hourly battle.
We may have to ask ourselves questions such as these. Even if what I’m consuming isn’t sinful, is it drawing me closer to communion with God? Or, on the other hand, is it distracting me from Him and pulling me towards the world?
So let’s make a choice today to choose communion over consumption. May our hearts be drawn to God and focused on all that He has in store for us as we follow Him.