By Sarah Rein
I teach history two days a week with a group of fifth-graders, and preparing for that course is a joy. As my students and I read, week after week, we encounter stories of people who used their time on earth to chase wealth, power, and fame.
The endings take on a familiar refrain: The Japanese daimyo fights his whole life to control territory, only to die in battle at the height of his power; Charles V abdicates the throne he worked his whole life to secure; Henry Hudson desperately searches for the Northwest Passage through the New World and loses his life in the pursuit.
You find yourself thinking, didn’t they know they weren’t going to live forever? Didn’t they realize these things had an expiration date? As a Christian reading these histories in the 21st century, I’d like to think we know better, but I’m not so sure.
I’ll venture to say that no mom reading this article will have the chance to build an international empire. But friends, don’t we still manage to become obsessed with our own trivial kingdoms here on Earth?
How many of us are laboring over the image in the mirror – worrying over wrinkles and outfit choices and counting macros? How many of us are fixated on health – buying organic food, using natural cleaners, avoiding conventional medicine – to the point that it consumes our thoughts? How many of us can’t see and relish the good things in our lives because we are nagged by jealousy over the lives of our friends or acquaintances on social media? How many of us are troubled about our children’s success in school or on the sports field?
Could we pause and hear God’s Word tell us: “I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” – Ecclesiastes 1:14.
I don’t mean to suggest that there is nothing worthy about some of the above goals. Being a Christian with eternity in mind doesn’t mean you can’t use anti-aging serum or decorate your home well. But, sisters in Christ, let’s live as women who know the truth. Our beauty will fade, our bodies will age, we will not achieve perfect health, and any material blessings we accumulate will turn to dust. Let’s shepherd our families well as we march toward the eternal kingdom – our real home.
Sarah Rein and her husband, Trey, are raising their four children in Brandon, where Trey is a school principal and Sarah is home a LOT. Luckily she’s an introvert who enjoys reading and learning about new things and people. The Reins love their church family at Lakeside Presbyterian and coffee.