It’s not like I live in some back woods place. I’m in south Orlando for goodness’ sake. But I see commercials on TV or know of some great chains I wish were nearby and wonder why they aren’t.
We do have an Ikea. And after years of seeing commercials for Kohl’s they began popping up. Red Robin is also on my radar after having had a few opportunities to enjoy their burgers. But top of my list right now is a Trader Joe’s. There’s “talk” about town so I’m hopeful it won’t be too long.
And this week, after years of anticipation, the Container Store opened. This massive store must be like an amusement park to organizers, professional and amateur alike. I’ve never even shopped there but am eagerly awaiting my first fieldtrip because I don’t like clutter and do like opening a drawer or closet and having everything in its place.
As much comfort as this type of organization gives me, it truly can be a false comfort. If I have items I don’t need but am missing things I do need, even though they look nice on the shelf, what good are they? These items can take up space, making it look as though I am properly prepared when in reality I’m not.
Case in point. I made a new cookie recipe the other day using all sorts of items I don’t typically stock. (Okay already, they were healthy cookies so I needed coconut oil, almond flour, and organic honey. Who has that stuff anyway?)
But when mixing my dough I quickly realized I didn’t have the dark chocolate chips the recipe called for, only milk chocolate. In spite of my organized cabinet with the special basket for baking chocolate, I still missed this important ingredient because I assumed what I had on hand was what I needed.
I made the cookies and they were good but I do think using dark chocolate chips would have only made these better. Here’s the link to these yummy delights.
Point is I missed what wasn’t there because I assumed what looked good was correct. It was not.
The idiom appearances can be deceiving is so true. And while it was no biggie that my pantry didn’t house what I needed, my greater concern is how easy it is to deceive myself into thinking all is well with my spiritual life just because on the outside things look good.
I go to church and serve others. I talk about God and pray at supper every night. I even talk to Him throughout my day. And to others (even to myself) I look pretty good. But God is much less interested in what I look like on the outside and more interested in who I am on the inside.
Jeremiah 17:9-10 tells us “The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. But I, GOD, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be.”
Father, may my inside—my relationship to you—be what matters most.
p.s. Had a colonoscopy the other day. Oh boy! I’ll be posting about that experience soon.