One year, our small group decided that we should all go camping for a weekend. My husband and I were not thrilled with the idea - taking four little boys camping wasn't high on our list. But we decided we needed to be "good" group members and particpate.
I just have to say it was one of the worst weekends I’ve ever had. It wasn’t the company, it was the camping itself. Have you ever been in a tent with four little boys, tracking in dirt constantly? Then there’s the cooking, the dirt, the clean up with no running water, the dirt, the humidity, the dirt . . .
Then there was the sleeping or lack of it . . .
My husband and I were smart (or so we thought) – we brought an air mattress so we didn’t have to lie on the tent floor but what we didn’t bring was an extra blanket to put on top of the air mattress to keep the cold air from seeping through. I laid awake for most of the night dreaming of my nice soft comfortable bed. My thoughts went something like this, “This is nuts!!! My nice warm dry bed is forty-five minutes from here. I have a house with air-conditioning, running water, flushing toilets and no DIRT and I choose to be here! Something is seriously wrong with this picture. We must be insane!"
Look at 2 Corinthians 5:1-5 (The Message), “For instance, we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven—God-made, not handmade—and we'll never have to relocate our "tents" again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move—and so we cry out in frustration. Compared to what's coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we're tired of it! We've been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies! The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what's ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we'll never settle for less.”
When it comes to spiritual tenting – I think I feel the same way I do about physical tenting. I don’t like living in a tent! I long for my real home. The home where Jesus is, where I can have a face to face conversation with Him, where there is no more sorrow and no more tears, where the pain of this life is a distant memory, where I will have the answers, where I’ll see loved ones who’ve gone one before me, where there is peace, and no messiness. I long for my REAL HOME, don’t you?
“God has put a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less.” He gave us the Holy Spirit to remind us that this is not our home, that there is so much more that awaits us and to teach us not to settle for anything less. But it’s easy to lose sight of the “little bit of heaven” that God has placed within our hearts and live day by day settling for so much less than God intended.
And isn’t it funny how we get so distracted with our tent?
We decorate it, “fix it up” and try to disguise it so that it won’t look and feel too much like a tent and yet it doesn’t change a thing. And oh, the time we waste focusing on the temporal instead of the eternal.
Let me ask you, are you settling for less? Have you spent so much time focusing on your “tent” that you have lost sight of your real home? Have you forgotten that you have the Holy Spirit living inside of you?
Let God whet your appetite with a taste of what’s up ahead and never, never, never settle for anything less!