“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
(2 Corinthians 4:18)
Temporary versus eternal, there is a vast difference between the two. The way we process the difference can determine the level of peace and contentment in a Christian’s life. Exert most of our focus on the temporary and we struggle to find contentment. Focus on the eternal and we can feel a great burden lift from our shoulders.
To allow the eternal to give us peace requires a measure of effort. It is easy to allow the temporary – the day in and day out – to consume all of our energy and effort. Our job (temporary) requires much attention. Our physical bodies (temporary) need constant maintenance. The state of our finances (temporary) causes our emotions to fluctuate mercilessly at times. Plenty of dough, we’re up. Not enough dough, we are down. Keeping up with our material stuff requires much attention. The temporary, physical aspect of life can be a hard taskmaster, if we let it.
Fortunately, we can choose to find peace and contentment by turning our thoughts to the eternal. The eternal (heaven, everlasting life, joy, peace, angels) is promised to faithful followers of Jesus Christ. There will come a day when we will realize that the stressful, worried hours we spent on the temporary were a waste of time. As C. S. Lewis observed, "All that is not eternal is eternally useless."
Now wait a minute, Sam. You really don’t believe that we can turn our focus away from our work and home and stuff, do you?
Maybe not, but we can learn balance. And we can learn to replace the stressful, worrying, distracting thoughts concerning the temporary with peaceful, contented, joyous thoughts about the eternal.