Every day I drive 20 minutes to take my daughter to her dayhab program. And every day we pass a church with a cemetery beside it. The church and grounds are gorgeous. And I love their commitment to history. This congregation kept and preserved other iterations of their sanctuaries as they continued to expand and build. And today, this patch of land and buildings reminded me of what’s important.
God handed us a break with the temperatures this week (only getting into the low 90’s instead of triple digits). So I chose to exercise outside on a mild morning or two (still in the upper 70’s). I prefer being outdoors for movement these days but the Texas climate rarely allows that during the summer.
After dropping Shelby off, I decided to stop at this church campus to explore and walk. They have a prayer labyrinth and a walking trail with spiritual landmarks – and a lot of space. I tried to take a picture of the cemetery while capturing the church on the other side of it, but mucked it up. I blame the poor vantage point. Making excuses really. If you look closely at the picture with the gate, you might just barely see the steeple above the trees. Oh, well. My younger sister got all of the photography skills.
Let me make my point. I think seeing a cemetery every time I went to church would remind me that this place is not our home. I know funerals and burials make a lot of money now – big business – which is probably why the church is not the preferred plot anymore. But I think being put in mind of the saints who went before us on a weekly basis could be a good thing.
We spend so much time trying to make ourselves comfortable here and devising ways to live our best lives now. And the bible does tell us that Jesus came to give us an abundant life (John 10:10). But I don’t think abundant lives focus on the here and now. Today reminded me that I need to keep my eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2) and things in the heavenly realm. That is what’s important.
We only use these bodies in this place for a short time. But 2 Corinthians 5:1 NIV tells us, “For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.” Through this scripture the Holy Spirit whispered to me, “Everything you do in this body should be focused on that”.
Summing Up What’s Important
I get so caught up in the pain and difficulty – and even the minutia – of my days. My walk this morning renewed my commitment to myself and my Heavenly Father to turn my thoughts to Him and His purposes. And to the promises that await me when this blip on earth is over. Our Father, using that church and the quaint little graveyard, hugged me warmly and reminded me that this is not all there is. He reminded me of what’s important.
“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” Philippians 3:20-21 NIV
The Link Up
Paula Short provided us a great list of encouraging scriptures that I thought might be beneficial for you too. Plus, she has a new link up for you writers. Two resources in one! 24 Ways Christ Tells Us Who We are in Him.
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Lauren Sparks is a wife and mom of 2 daughters – one with special needs – and one bonus son. She lives, worships Jesus, and teaches yoga in Dallas, TX area. She is a contributing author on 3 devotional books, she shares her adventures, victories, and flub-ups from her laptop at laurensparks.net.