Those who tend to be “night owls” like yours truly know that late night TV commercials for “fantastic” new products are often either entertainingly novel or amazingly ridiculous. One of my recent favorites, which notes how hard it is to keep up with the many online “passwords” required by today’s technology, offers a handy “password organizer” for the modest price of twenty bucks – with the promise that if you buy one, they’ll throw in a second one absolutely free!
The “password organizer” sounds great in that commercial, unless you consider three things: The first is that one goal of today’s technology is to reduce paper usage. The “password organizer” – which is a vinyl bound notepad – doesn’t do that. The second is that if your “password organizer” is stolen along with your laptop, tablet or smartphone, the thief also gets a handy list of your passwords. The third is that those who do want to create a written record of their passwords can as easily create one with a two buck spiral notebook instead of a twenty buck, vinyl bound note pad!
The “password organizer” is an initially appealing product, but it’s really a reminder that what seems “new and novel” often isn’t all that it appears to be and that “fantastic bargains” often aren’t bargains at all, but creative ways to waste money. We’d all do well to remember that as we go through life.
The demands of life make all of us look for convenient shortcuts, and the need to maintain the right image and appearance make all of us pursue what looks and sounds good, hopefully with the least possible expenditure of time, energy and money. Most of us can look back at our lives and see the debris of things we’ve done or gone after that caused us more difficulty than delight because they weren’t what we thought they would be.
The best things in life come not through “too good to be true” shortcuts but through dedicated and consistent effort, and those things are best accomplished when we have the faith to let God guide our efforts. When we trust God to guide and lead us to where we need to be, then we’ll reach our goals and have the satisfaction of knowing that we did so working together with God. It may take longer than we want to get there, but we’ll get there in God’s time and know that when the things of this world turn out to be little more than cheap illusions, God will bring us enduring peace of mind, enduring strength and enduring joy.