As I drive, hymns are almost always singing from the CD player, but lately we've been listening to "Songs" by the late Rich Mullins. And there is a line from the song "If I Stand" that catches my attention every time.
"The stuff of earth competes for the allegiance I owe only to the Giver of all good things."
I feel the competition within my own heart. I feel the pull of this stuff of earth. I have to consciously choose to live as a citizen of another world, as those who "confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth." (Hebrews 11:13)
I often think of conversations that I have had with my friend Ann, who lives with ALS. She tells me how she is learning to "die"...to possessions, to independence, to privacy, to anything that is self. And when I visit with Ann, it is I who am blessed...it is I who leaves encouraged. For Ann lives with the good, she lives as that Heavenly citizen, she is letting go of the stuff of earth.
Learning to let go of the stuff of earth is not easy. I am here. I love creating a home, and I don't think it's wrong to enjoy the gifts that He has given...as long as I hold them loosely. The trick is, as Rich Mullins sang, to not let it compete with the allegiance that we owe to the Giver Himself!
"Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth." Col. 3:2
"For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ." Philippians 3:20 NKJV
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This is a recording made as Rich sang at Wheaton College only months before his death. I love the simplicity of this setting...just Rich and the piano.