What were you thinking?

As we know all too well, fallen desire distorts our judgment, and left to ourselves we are enslaved to it. We can never make our break and so often live in regret.

Caught up in the business of life, earthly longing versus my satisfaction in Jesus has always been a pendulum relationship for me - one that frequently depended on my circumstances and has produced numerous bucket lists where “good” things crowd out the best. John Piper describes the concept of Christians ticking off these often self-absorbed checklists , especially in retirement, as follows:  

“That would be like a person on the way to inherit a million dollars spending the last mile picking up shiny pennies. It seems to me that it would make a lot more sense to spend the last mile emptying your pockets for lost and needy people.”  

Paul summarises his life goal for us in Philippians 3:12b. He says, “but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”

If you’re a believer, this status equally applies to you. Christ Jesus has taken hold of you. This means we’re held as his possession on a journey towards the perfect fulfilment of our desires: being with him for eternity. We can try to satisfy our cravings with shiny pennies here on Earth, but don’t fall for it. There’s an inheritance worth so much more to lift our gaze.  

Earlier, Paul tells us in Philippians 3:8-9 that real contentment is all about the treasure of being known by, and found in, Christ.  

“What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him.”

What does it mean to take hold of that for which Christ took hold of you? This is embracing the Saviour who embraces you so that his desires become yours. You learn to know what he’s thinking. Only here do we find our completeness – not at the end of a bucket list.

So, as you walk this metaphorical last mile, empty your pockets of trivialities and temporal infatuations. Instead, draw close to Christ, so that you may hold on to him – and what matters to him – who has so powerfully, generously, and endlessly taken hold of you.