I think God may be trying to make a point. Yesterday the Bible opened to St. Paul reminding me that any gains on earth may be meaningless. And today the Bible opened at Haggai. (Now I must confess that I have no idea who Haggai is, and only discovered a month ago that there was a book in the Bible called Haggai. It is a pretty short book.) But, here is what I read this morning. See if you hear the same thing that I do:
Now thus says the LORD of hosts:
Reflect on your experience! You have sown much, but have brought in little; you have eaten, but have not been satisfied; You have drunk, but have not become intoxicated; you have clothed yourselves, but have not been warmed; And the hired worker labors for a bag full of holes.
Thus says the LORD of hosts:
Reflect on your experience! Go up into the hill country; bring timber, and build the house that I may be pleased with it, and that I may be glorified, says the LORD. You expected much, but it came to little; and what you brought home, I blew away. Why is this?—oracle of the LORD of hosts— Because my house is the one which lies in ruins, while each of you runs to your own house.
Reflect on your experience, the Lord says. We work, we eat, we drink, we have clothes to wear. But we are not satisfied. We expect more. (Remember the commercial with the little kids saying they want more — that’s us — or at least its me.) Why are we not satisfied? Because we run to our houses (our material things) instead of God’s house. We are looking in the wrong places, building up the wrong things.
I hear you, God! But what you are asking is so hard. I need your help! I find myself thinking I will worry about that in the next life, right now I need to make it through this life and the pressures and rewards of the world. I know that is wrong. But it is so easy to fall into that habit. I know that focusing on You and Your word and Your love will satisfy me in a way that no instant gratification of this world ever can. Help me to change my heart and my mind and my focus. Help me to run to your house and build up your house.