I must admit I like cute and pretty things. This week’s sermon has prompted me to be careful with my eyegate, and to re-prioritise.
I have been a big fan of Hello Kitty since I was young. Hello Kitty merchandise in Malaysia were few and far between over three decades ago, so I would hoard whatever I could get my hands on then. This obsession has led my father to insist that I give them away, for they were taking up too much space. I was completely heartbroken to part with my prized possessions then, but as a child, I obeyed albeit with much resentment towards those who walked away happily with what I have ‘amassed’.
My liking for all things Hello Kitty triggered a longing for pretty stationeries, and subsequently, beautiful clothes as I advanced in age. Having a place of my own with dedicated storage for these only fuelled my desire for more. The advent of online shopping did not help either. I would spend copious amounts of time browsing these things, sometimes ending up buying duplicates as I have forgotten what I have already bought before. I would justify my purchases with excuses such as, buying them during sale, I cannot miss a good deal, it qualifies for free delivery, the item is one-of-a-kind, I am not splurging on luxuries, I am buying them as advanced presents for others, etc.
My ‘Babylon’ took the form of cute stationeries and good-looking clothes. Reflecting on my previous bad habits, I realise that mindless browsing of shopping websites has taken my time – and my heart – away from God. Yes, I was still doing my daily devotions, still giving my tithes and offerings, but I was not intentional about it. These spiritual practices became ‘mechanical’ and took a backseat in my pursuit of wanting to feast my eyes with pretty things.
This week’s sermon has reminded me not to succumb to the lust of the eyes. I do not wish to descend on the slippery slope of believing that these things will give me security and satisfy me. The more I desire these things, the more I feel I am dependent on them to make me feel ‘good’. Being dependent on these things has made me the tail as I am subservient to them, but this is not how God has created me to be. We are in this world, but we are not of this world. As a child of God, I am made the head and not the tail. I need to also re-prioritise - to be more purposeful in wanting to spend quality time with my Heavenly Father. Nothing is hidden from God; I know He will change my desires and mould me as I yield to Him. I am also reminded not to be too attached to my earthly possessions, for Jesus has commanded not to store up treasures on earth but to store up treasures in heaven. Pretty pens, notebooks and clothes may be crisp and fine-looking now, but not so when devoured by moths and the decay of time.
I am part of the ekklesia, who has been called out by God, out of Babylon. I need to start actually seeing that I am indeed called out by God. If I want to be an ambassador of Christ and make a difference in this world, then I must be different from this world, just as salt is different from the food it flavours. God has graciously called us unto Himself, to come out from Babylon and be separate from the world, and He will receive us.
Instead of looking at worldly things, I ought to fix my eyes on the goodness, beauty and the majesty of my Saviour. Jesus is everything that I will ever need, the One who fulfils my everything in every way. Only Jesus alone can satisfy me.