Festive shop trees tower over gifts with shiny paper.
Colours dazzle, ribbon flows, joy is promised.
But inside all you find is an empty box.
But does it matter? It’s pretty. Enticing. Decorative.
Our minds are trained to focus on the external.
We peruse the packaging before we dive inside.
The bright white box of macarons.
The posted package filled with promise.
The person we love in their best outfit.
Desire starts at the surface.
The superficial is where it’s at.
We conjure up stories about what’s inside, what’s over the rainbow, what’s beyond the fence.
We journey into what-ifs instead of remaining at what is.
What if… I’m missing out.
What if… there’s more for me.
What if… God’s holding out on me.
What if… this makes me happier?
Me, me, me instead of God, God, God.
These travels through the land of what-if began in Eden.
The old refrain: What if I could know more, experience more, feel more…
And our first parents – who already had it all – followed their what-ifs all the way to the grave.
Instead of keeping their eyes fixed on the life they had in God, they followed another path.
Straight out of his arms.
Ever since, we’ve been lusting over shiny wrapping,
Believing there’s a trinket inside that’s better than God.
Frantic, hungry, we crack the gift open.
It’s just a box.
And rather than being empty, it’s filled with toxic fumes.
It promised so much,
Yet in the end it destroys.
The what-ifs become the what have I done,
As death replaces life,
And regret marks every step back to Jesus.