Material things don’t fulfill spiritual needs

By Judy Brandon: Local Columnist

t is clear to me that many times we work the very hardest in life to gain those things that we cannot keep.
When we first married, Charlie and I had no television set of our own so we borrowed a little black-and-white TV to watch all our favorite shows. We were from homes with bigger color television sets and we thought we were roughing it when we had to rely on the basic black and white set, so we decided that we needed a color television set. Our plan was to save our money and buy one.
This was our strategy: Charlie would pay the household expenses and since I was teaching school, I put back part of my check in savings for a TV. That became my mission: save, save, save for the TV.
Finally the day came when we had enough money. We went to an appliance store downtown and paid cash for an 18-inch color set. We arranged the living room of our little rented house with the TV in the corner on the cinder block and wood plank shelves that Charlie had made.
That was fine for a while. Two years later I was not teaching school, staying home with Annie instead, had another baby on the way, and had bought our first house. My constant redecorating urges had propelled me to repaint all our second-hand furniture in a Mediterranean theme. I thought it would be so nice if we had a color console television set in a Mediterranean cabinet, and after all, the portable television was not sturdy on those wobbly blocks and a toddler could easily pull it over and get hurt. I rationalized in my mind and somehow convinced Charlie that we needed a new console television set.
So we went down, traded our old television set in and put the balance on the new one with time payments. We came home with a 20-plus inch, color, stereo-sound, cable-ready, Mediterranean-style cabinet television set. I was so excited that I put Annie’s picture on the top and there was plenty of room for the new baby’s picture next to it.
A few years later with more children, I thought it was so hard to get up and change the channels so a remote control would really make life easier. I wasn’t teaching school and we had no money saved. Once again I managed to convince Charlie of our need so we traded the old console TV on a new larger TV with remote control and put the big balance on time payments.
In life we often search and search to find things that satisfy us temporarily, but we find they never satisfy us. Even though we stay busy trying to fill that void with worldly things, endeavors and material things never meet a need that was created to be filled by God.
Peter and John were going past a gate on their way to the temple. They encountered a man who was crippled from birth, laying on a mat, begging for money. Peter looked at the man and said: “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!” The Bible says that instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong and he jumped to his feet and began to walk. He jumped and ran for joy, praising God because he had been made whole. (Acts 3:1-10)
We all are just like that man. We may not be crippled physically, but we are all crippled spiritually. We go through our lives, trying to fill that part of us with other things when only God can meet that need. When we face death and eternity, those things will not matter. It will be our relationship with the creator.
Judy Brandon is an instructor at Clovis Community College. Contact her at:
cbrandon@plateautel.net