“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; Fear God, and keep His commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Ecc. 12:13-14
Today’s Christian daily devotional
“The air conditioner is broken again.” Laura’s mom props open the front door to let a breeze enter her sweltering home.
“Why don’t you girls go downstairs to the basement? It is much cooler. Mindy just cleaned out her room and moved a bunch of her old things down there. I am sure she wouldn’t mind you two enjoying them.” She fanned herself with a flyer that was attached to the door.
We both turned toward each other, eyes bugged out in amazement. Hearing this was akin to winning the lotto. Mindy was everything we both wanted to be: beautiful, smart and a popular cheerleader. I was secretly hoping some of her things might give us a clue into her world—and perhaps her “coolness” would rub off on us.
Bounding down the wooden basement stairs, I could feel the temperature drop a few degrees. The relief of this compensated for the musty smell that came from a combination of rolled carpet, old books and hanging wet laundry.
Discovering Mindy’s toys that were banished to Laura’s basement underworld was quite the adventure to our curious minds. Mindy had replaced those precious treasures with silly things like rock n’ roll posters, makeup and clothes. Us two awkward kids were proof that one person’s trash certainly is another’s treasure. I picked up a lonely stuffed Hello Kitty doll and hugged it tightly.
“Oh YES! It is mine now!” Laura broke my thoughts with her gleeful shout. She plopped her body onto a large red beanbag and I join her. We both stare into the water-stained ceiling tile above us.
“I wonder what makes this so squishy.” She crunches the bag between her fingers. I feel the odd texture and start to wonder myself.
“My mom told me to never open this bag, no matter what.” By the look in her eye, I felt like she was dangling a carrot with her comment.
“I don’t see what the big deal is.” She fingered the shiny zipper.
“Should I just do it? One little glance is harmless, right?” She looked to me as if she were asking for my permission.
“Yeah, that seems harmless to me.” I nodded in agreement, my eyes glued to the zipper.
She slowly pulled on it, and the glossy red bag went a bit limp as air escaped from it. Ever so gingerly, we peer inside.
What a world to discover! It looked as if we were on planet mars. The landscape was tiny white Styrofoam balls that made valleys and peaks. The whole inside glowed red from the exterior of the bag. We both looked at each other, then back into the red sphere in complete amazement.
“It couldn’t do much harm to touch it, right?” Laura asked.
I shrugged my shoulders as I watched her hand disappear into the world of Styrofoam. As she did, the tiny beads stuck to the hair on her hand and arm. Laura giggled with delight.
“They feel so weird! Touch them. You got to.” She urged me as she retreated her hand from the bag; the tiny balls still clinging to her arm.
We hear a noise at the top of the basement; it is the sound of Laura’s mother opening the door that seems to be sticking together from the heat.
“Oh no! My mom is going to kill me! Quick, help me clean this up!” Laura’s eyes are as large as saucers. My heart pumps with adrenaline as we both frantically try to push the clinging balls back down her arm and into the open bag. It only seems to make a bigger mess as now my hands are covered with the sticking balls as well. We hear the sound of her mother’s steps quickly descending, getting closer to us. I feel as if my heart just might beat out of my chest.
“Try and look natural, like your not doing anything.” Laura pulls the zipper closed, while both of her arms are still covered in beads.
I get up and skitter from one end of the basement to the other in a panic, looking for a place to sit and “look natural”. As her mother arrived at the bottom of the steps, all logic left my body as well.
In desperation, I plop right onto the beanbag that Laura had not finished closing. Within an instant, we are all covered in a cloud of white Styrofoam balls.
In Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 we are told that every deed we do on this earth will be exposed. Every hidden secret will be known and judged by God Himself. The harsh reality of that scripture often causes many to pretend as if it this verse doesn’t exist.
I challenge you to not hide from truth, but to observe it from a unique perspective. If we live our lives knowing that everything will be exposed and judged, we have an even higher motivation to live according to the word of God on a consistent basis.
This is not an easy pill to swallow, but we will all have to face God one day. Wouldn’t life be sweeter if you begin by investing in your character now? Choosing wisdom is a s decision you will never regret.
“Dear Heavenly Father,
I have been taking life a little to lightly. I see that my character development is important to you. Sometimes I forget that even when I sin in secret, there is a God who is taking note of my life and my actions.
I don’t want to be on my deathbed facing the harsh reality that I lived my life for the superficial trinkets that I will not be able to take with me when I pass over.
I want to live with meaning, purpose, direction and integrity. How can I accomplish all this in such a wicked world without your help?
I need you, Lord. Fill my life with your presence and give me divine revelations as I go about trying to apply the wisdom of your word to my everyday life. Amen.”
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Author: Julia Shalom Jordan