The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.
When my son, Daniel, is just about a year old, I go back to work.
I don't want to. I long to stay home and just be a mommy. But, economic concerns at the time dictate otherwise.
It is comforting to know that Daniel is cared for by family and friends while I'm at work. I am relieved to not have to place him at an impersonal, germ-infested day care facility. But, I still feel guilty.
Very guilty . . .
I miss him so much during the day. Think about him all the time. Wonder what he's up to.
And, though I like my job, I can't wait to get home each day to see him. I want, somehow, to make it up to him.
When I deposit my first paycheck in the bank during my lunch break, I have an inspiration.
Why not buy Daniel a new toy? He'll be so surprised. So pleased!
I duck into the nearby five and dime and make a beeline for the toy section. Immediately, I spy the perfect gift: a sturdy, bright-yellow, plastic dump truck. Daniel loves nothing better than playing with the few cars and trucks he already has.
I tuck the truck under my arm and head happily toward the cashier.
Oh, how he will love this! I can't wait to see the look on his face!
I am not disappointed.
When I give the truck to Daniel, his eyes are as round as saucers and a huge smile spreads across his face.
"T'ank oo," he says, hugging the dump truck to his chest.
Needless to say, I am gratified. And, some of the guilt I feel for leaving him is assuaged. At least, temporarily.
It is four paychecks and four toys later when I realize my mistake.
I'm sending my son the wrong message! Teaching him that material things can make him happy. Can make up for my absence from him.
Can be a substitute for love . . .
When they can't. And, never will.
On my fifth payday, I bring him what counts.
A hug. A kiss. And, an "I love you, Daniel."
To my joy and relief, my son is perfectly satisfied with that.
Have you ever allowed the fleshly desire for material things get in the way of your spiritual focus?
Prayer: Let our minds and hearts be governed by Your Holy Spirit, Father. Do not allow the lure of earthly possessions to keep us from knowing true peace and life in Your love. Lead us not into temptation. Amen.
Psalms 101, 109 or 119:121-144