The Flesh Withers and Beauty Fades
All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field . . . The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. Isaiah 40:6-8
It’s not uncommon to hear a patient report, in frustration, that they don’t eat anything but still, they gain weight. Usually, if the patient is honest, food journaling will reveal the source of the excess calories. When made to tabulate everything consumed, the problem is usually revealed.
This is true about journaling in general. If I am honest with myself, writing down my thoughts is a way of forcing introspection and auditing where I spend my time and energy. Am I following my own appetites? Am I living only for me? What am I pursuing in life? Money? Stuff? Drugs? Appearance?
I may say that God is the most important thing in my life, but am I living as though that were true? Or, do I claim the importance of God with my lips, while living for me? Honest introspection reveals what I am feeding, how I am growing, and where I am investing my life.
Today’s passage is a profound reminder that we often have our priorities backwards. Because this flesh life seems more tangible now, we usually live as though it is our greater reality, at the expense of our spiritual life. Though it is natural to expend our life efforts on our own appetites, the flesh withers and beauty fades.
In reviewing yesterday, I realized that exercise and work were a priority. I also recalled that I was a little short tempered with some family members. Where did God fit in? Did I listen to him and his word? Or, was my day consumed with me? What was the first thing I did yesterday? Did I turn to the Bible or Facebook?
If we find ourselves frustrated, joyless and unfulfilled, we must examine where we have been attempting to find our meaning and purpose. What have we been pursuing? Daily, we can invest in that which truly matters, growing our relationship with God and increasing in love for those around us. Or, we can expend ourselves on that which is, in the end, meaningless. The flesh withers and beauty fades, but the word of God will stand forever.