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 Issue #96 Tue, 12 Sep 2006

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Female Number of posts : 2309
Age : 26
Real Name : Alyssa
Location : Eastern USA
Registration date : 2006-12-17

PostSubject: Issue #96 Tue, 12 Sep 2006   March 12th 2007, 00:17

THINGS, THINGS, AND MORE THINGS!


Dear Youth,

We live our lives amid a sea of things! We go to bed at night trapped in a bedroom full of things. When we open our wardrobe in the morning, one or two things tumble out and land on our toes; we have to scrounge around a pile of clothes to find just the right shirt for the day! Under the bed is a selection of shoes . . . it seems there are almost enough pairs to start our own shoe store! We go down to the kitchen cupboards to prepare the breakfast and again are greeted by a great range of delicate china and kitchenware! When we leave the house in the morning, we pile some more things into a backpack or carry bag and rush out the door!

Once we get out the front door, we jump in the car and rush to this thing and that thing. Appointments galore, shopping, music lessons, private tutoring, work, concerts, school, meetings, or whatever other things consume our lives. The sequence of our lives is a perfect description of the end times when "Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." (Daniel 12:4) Our lives could be described in one small, but very profound word: BUSY!

We couldn't live without things! Things are a very important part of our daily lives, but are these things taking control of our lives and crowding out any time for each other and for Christ? It is easy to see that people today are driven by money and materialism. Many people think they've "made it" in life; they live in very palatial and ornate houses, they own very expensive cars, they have beautiful furniture to fill all the rooms in their big homes, elaborate attire, top-class education and everything they could ever wish for! Yet, in the peak of success their lives are in ruin. Australian studies* have shown that approximately fifty percent of marriages end up in divorce. It is also recorded that between 23.5 percent and 49 percent of Australian teenagers contemplate suicide at some point.** Why are so many families falling apart when it seems like they have everything?

These "things" that people surround themselves with don't make their lives any happier or easier, in fact the more prosperous people become, the more complicated their lives become. "There is another danger to which the wealthy are especially exposed, and here is also a field for the medical missionary. Multitudes who are prosperous in the world, and who never stoop to the common forms of vice, are yet brought to destruction through the love of riches. The cup most difficult to carry is not the cup that is empty, but the cup that is full to the brim. It is this that needs to be most carefully balanced. Affliction and adversity bring disappointment and sorrow; but it is prosperity that is most dangerous to spiritual life." (The Ministry of Healing, p. 211)

The more things we have, the more things there are to distract us from where we really should be focused. Many things get in the way of our relationship as families and friends, and more importantly, our relationship with God. Happiness or ease is not going to come from material possessions or money, it comes only when we yoke ourselves to Christ. For He says: "Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly of heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light." (Matthew 11:29-30)

So, what can we, as young people, do to downsize? You may like to give away some clothes or items that are simply stored away for "one of these days", but downsizing includes more than just eradicating excess clothing, furniture, or other household items. Perhaps certain activities are robbing you of precious time and fellowship. You may need to cut some of these activities in half. The less appointments we make for ourselves, the more time we will have to really spend time with the Lord, Saviour, and Creator of our life. When we make time to draw close to Christ, we will become thoughtful and tender toward one another and the individual needs of each member of the family. For "To come near to Christ is to come near to one another." (The Adventist Home, p. 179)

When we really come to know Jesus as it is our privilege to know Him, our priorities will become re-ordered. Instead of placing work, ambition, education, or wealth above spending "real" time with God, with family, with friends, or in sharing the good news of Jesus with a perishing world; Christ, His people, and His work will become our highest joy and sense of delight! "Truth, set home to the heart by the Spirit of God, will crowd out the love of riches. The love of Jesus and the love of money cannot dwell in the same heart. The love of God so far surpasses the love of money that the possessor breaks away from his riches and transfers his affections to God." (Counsels on Stewardship, p. 157)

In our modern-day world, everything is geared to keep us busy and pre-occupied. We are so caught up in our school or work that we forget about Christ and our families. We have no time to simply sit out in nature and see the wonderful handiwork of our Creator, we have no time to stand still and hear the gentle, quiet voice of our Saviour, no time to really talk and interact with our families, no time to study and pray with friends, and no time to work for God. In light of this, Jesus instructs us to "Stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God." (Job 37:14)

Materialism is fast capturing many people and youth in it's iron grasp. It is time for us to downsize, time to get rid of those "things" that keep us confined to their rule, time to reorganize our priorities, and time to come to the quiet, forsaking the busyness of typical modern-day life, to draw near to the Man who gave His life for us!
--Stephanie Fox

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PLEASE NOTE: All Bible verses are taken from the King James Version, unless stated otherwise.
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Issue #96 Tue, 12 Sep 2006
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