God's word in today's world

Late to bed, late to rise

My dad always said about young people partying: “Late to bed, late to rise!” This is a good description of those young ones who go out all beautifully made up and fashionably dressed and then sleep late the next morning to get the energy to go out again that night.

Many people live for the kick of going out at night, but it’s almost like Cinderella’s story, where everything returns to normal after 12 hours, and you’re back in your old life.

Other people live for the weekend. One radio station I listen to counts down the days from Monday and can’t wait for the weekend. Every Friday morning is like Spring arriving and the people can’t wait for the weekend playtime, just to realise Sunday evening that everything is over, and that the countdown to the next weekend starts tomorrow morning again.

Late to bed Friday evening and late to rise Monday morning.

The excitement of one night’s going out or a weekend of partying is fleeting. It doesn’t last forever. It dries up somewhere along the way and then you have to wait for the next evening or weekend.

It’s the same with many things in the world. Fame or money doesn’t last. Luxury cars or houses actually have nothing to do with happiness. This manmade happiness disappears like mist before the sun.

James uses a simple example to explain it: 10… Prosperity is as short-lived as a wildflower, so don’t ever count on it. 11You know that as soon as the sun rises, pouring down its scorching heat, the flower withers. Its petals wilt and, before you know it, that beautiful face is a barren stem. Well, that’s a picture of the “prosperous life.” At the very moment everyone is looking on in admiration, it fades away to nothing.

Yes, a flower burnt by the hot sun is of no use.

Many people don’t see this. Many people chase after fame and wealth and think this will bring them happiness. But they are looking through the wrong lens. This lens makes them see badly. They cannot see that fame and wealth are temporary and do not bring real peace and happiness.

We should rather look through God’s lens to see where the things of real value are. This lens will show us which things will wilt in a day and which will last forever.

Dennis Barnhard quickly built his computer company and decided to list it on the stock exchange. The shares sold fast. Dennis’ company made a profit of nearly R500 million in this exercise. That same afternoon Dennis lost control of his Ferrari, smashed through a retaining wall and died. A flower withered too soon by the winds of life.

Late to bed. Late to rise.

James 1:9-11

Are you chasing flowers too?
Have some of your flowers withered already?
How do you look through God’s lens?

Father, I know I sometimes chase the wrong flowers. Flowers that are withered too soon by the winds of life. Help me to use my energy in the right places, so that I can see true value through Your eyes. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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