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Bethany Baptist Church

To Preach, Prepare, Participate


September 20, 2017

Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. Then I considered and behold all was vanity and chasing after wind (Ecc. 2:10,11)

Growing up in the rural south India I have witnessed how eyes were never satisfied when a group of people goes into a Silk saree (Indian Bridal dress) showroom to purchase a wedding saree for the bride. Generally, the groom’s family purchased the Saree for the bride and no exaggeration, the group size ranges between 15 to 30 people who would go for this and the general purchase time is anywhere between 4 – 8 hours. I think salesmen/women in the wedding sarees section of showrooms would have seen more eyes that are never satisfied than any of us. The crowd would keep asking the sales person “show us more colour; show us more design”. However, when my turn came around 13 years ago I finished the purchase in 15 minutes because of which those who were with me on that day (only 5 people in my case) thought that I would never make a good husband. Just imagine the number of things our eyes see and desire every day. Here are a few;

  • I see the morning newspaper carrying a front full page announcement of the ‘big billion sale’ of an online store, or the opening of booking for flats by a popular builder, or the release of a new smartphone. Isn’t it strange that headlines are no more seen in the first page of our newspapers?
  • On my way to the seminary I see on road luxury air conditioned vehicles marked with the names of popular MNCs carrying employees who are seen seated on reclining seats inside the glass cabin which reminds me of another kind of work & affluent life existing around me.
  • While I stop at a traffic signal I see huge bill boards right in front of me announcing an attractive discount offer at the near-by gym, or the final chance for booking the ‘last few’ available flats at the nearby apartment. It almost makes you feel that only fools would miss such opportunities to look good and live good.
  • I turn on my computer for study and every page I visit asks me to share it on social media in order to let the world see what I am doing.
  • Maybe you are a student and you see some succeeding and others failing, and generally those who succeed are considered to be the smarter ones.
  • Maybe you are a single, and you are seeing people all around you are busy getting married and newspaper columns never lacking of matrimonial ads prompting your eyes to keep seeing.
  • Maybe you are married, and you are seeing people around you are getting easy loans, purchasing flats, owning cars, changing for better jobs and settling down in life.

Our eyes see a lot around us and then desire to see more, buy more, get more, let others see more and at the end of it all we still realize that there are certain things we still couldn’t get.  At that point, what we don’t have begins to haunt us by sweeping under the under carpet all what we do have. Our eyes always see something that we don’t have and intently long for it with a deep sense of discontentment. What I saw as a boy occasionally in saree showrooms, a desire to see more and different, is what I see all around me today. With the increase in people’s purchase power I also see an increase in discontentment & frustration. More power and control should have led us to a state of more happiness and contentment but it’s not. Why? Wise man Solomon said long ago that he did not keep himself from anything his eyes desired. Yet his conclusion was “All is vanity and striving after wind”. Centuries after that, the conclusion remains the same even today for those who run after what their eyes see. What we see and go after, determines the course of our journey and the state of our mind? Our problem is not that we have nothing to see but not knowing what to see and fix our eyes on. Apostle Paul reminds us about what to see in 2 Cor.4:16-18, “Se we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day…..we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal”. Training our eyes to look at things that are unseen is the only way not to lose heart. In other words, everything we see here on earth and run after will someday bring us to the point of losing heart. Only things of God will help us not to lose heart. How do we get this sight of seeing the things of God? Well, the answer is there in vs.16, “our inner self is being renewed day by day”. If we don’t allow the Holy Spirit of God through the word of God to renew our hearts every day, then we will run after the things we see around or be disappointed by what we see around us and ultimately will lose heart. How true are the words of the Psalmist, “in your presence is fullness of Joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore”. There we go, “in your presence”, “at your right hand”, those who pursue after this will also know how to find true joy and pleasure in life.

Lord, in a world where there are enough around me to see, help me to see things right. Grant me the courage not to get everything my eyes see. Sharpen my eyes to focus on things of God that I will not lose heart. Renew my mind every day through your Spirit and the Word. In Jesus name, I ask, Amen,



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