The Direction of Your Affection Determines Your Action
Excerpt from my next book, “The Steel Wall”
Scooter’s heart ached as he took one last fond look at the stack of bricks. He opened the side door and gradually let it down, the wind plastering his face and tearing at his shirt as the sea rushed by 200 feet below. Whitecaps lined the tops of raging swells. He gripped the framework of the doorway hard and looked down.
“Oh Lord, there’s no coming back from a fall into that.”
He carefully maneuvered his feet as he picked up three bricks and shuffled toward the door. His gut had a big knot, like he had to shoot his dog, knowing he was throwing away perfectly good cocaine. He hesitated, thinking, “Maybe I don’t have to do this. Maybe they’re not there anymore.” He had already stowed his backup bricks in the baggage compartment, but tossing the rest in the water was more than a situational necessity… it was a calamity.
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21.
There is no simpler way to describe why we do what we do… why we feel like we feel. Scooter was distressed about throwing out the bricks because the coke was his “treasure.” It was valuable to him, not just monetarily, but in his psyche, in his gut. Cocaine was an integral part of his culture, and coke smuggling was his lifeblood. He wasn’t born this way, but this is where life lead him. And, frankly, he had never taken the time to consider living otherwise.
The things that are important to us always motivate our actions. This is why it is so important to look at ourselves and realize what we value the most. I’ll pick three “treasures.”
- Career: There’s no better satisfaction than working at what you love. Or pursuing a goal and achieving it.
- Pleasure: To a single, independent young adult, there seems to be no greater rush than partying down and letting it all hang out.
- Lifestyle: To anyone who has found their niche, there is no fonder fulfillment than soaking up the friends, the atmosphere, and the frills of the culture they have created.
Having our heart set on a career makes us persevere through college and low level jobs. If we are set on pleasure, we’ll spend lots of money and avoid things like commitment. If we are settled into a lifestyle, we may not even know there is an alternative out there, or we may not want to know. Either way, we are content to stay like we are.
“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians 3:2.
The good news is, we can actually do something about all this. Many cannot see outside of their present existence to know they even have a choice, but they do. We all do. In “The Steel Wall,” Dustin Morgan comes face to face with two cultures, two concepts of pleasure, and possibly two career choices, all hinging on where he will set his mind… what he will embrace as his affection.
That is our choice for 2018. Not resolutions, but where will you set your affection… on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God? or things on the earth?
2018 … Let’s all look upward!