Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Devil Wears Prada

“And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” (Luke 12:15)

I am a strong believer in Life’s Lessons, and have heard God spoken to me on several occasions through the seemingly minutest things in life. I know that there is a lesson in everything around us if only we try to pay attention to the ‘voice within’ that guides us through life and helps us from running into errors and things that might hurt us.

I would have titled this article something different than this. I am not very sure if it will really make sense for those who are not movie goers or have never been interested in labels before. But the more I ponder on the words of Jesus, the more this title resonated with me so strongly. So, finally I decided to put pen on paper and scribble this thought for you to consider.

I hope it will bless your heart (because it did mine!).

For those who have not seen the movie, I have captured the basic story line:

“Miranda Priestley, of "Runway" magazine tears up the landscape as a demanding fashion editor. She is a terror to everyone who is around her as is quickly depicted in the opening scenes of the movie. Her first assistant strives to please her and tries to emulate her, but one can sense that she is not quite as hard as she tries to put on. Into this mix comes a young woman, Andrea Sachs, who knows nothing of the fashion industry, has never read the magazine, and doesn't know who Miranda Priestley is. She only sees this as a stepping stone to another journalism position. Showing no fashion sense and immediately scorned by everyone, Miranda nonetheless hires her as the second assistant. When Miranda demands that she obtain the next unpublished Harry Potter manuscript, you can sense that she is trying to force her to quit, but it makes the young woman dig in to please her boss. With the help of one of the magazine's fashion editors, she gets a complete makeover and a new security. However, with her new appearance and the demands placed on her, she starts to lose her friends, family and her live-in boy friend. As she is whisked away to Paris with Miranda and faces all of the glamour that could be hers, including a flashy if not artificial freelance journalist, she is forced to make the decision of where she wants to be in her life”.

Truth is there is an Andrea in all of us, lurking around to show up at any slight opportunity! We must be willing to conquer this monster that drives us to such tiring length in life.

It is astonishing how our choices in life can drive us to do amazing things. How we can be drawn into making choices that might turn around to haunt us in the most bizarre way. How these choices of ours can make us throw all caution in the wind just because of what our hearts seek to be pleased with. How we risk relationships because of the ‘I-want-it-at-all-cost’ attitude that we have developed in our lives. It can be frustrating to see how we want more of what we already have. There is the insatiate cry within us that screams so loud ‘I WANT MORE!’ We are all driven by the sin of covetousness, which a man of God calls the sin of our time, even though it is hard to accept.

Solomon, the man of wisdom, tells about the leech that always want more, and the four things that are never satisfied: the grave, the barren womb, the earth that is not filled with water and a raging fire (Pro.30:15-16). What a vivid picture painted in on the canvass of wisdom!

It is equally dangerous when our dreams over-clouds our judgment to do what is right. It is much more dangerous when those dreams deter us from knowing the difference between what is good and what is not – when we think that whatever is convenient or conducive for us is right and permissible, and we convince ourselves that as far as it pleases me and makes me feel good then it is good.

How wrong? Because the devil wears prada.

Unfortunately, our lives are not really built around our fantasies; they do not consist of the things we think we own; they are not dependent on the vagaries of this life – things that are today here and by tomorrow they are nowhere to be found – things like fashion, style, wealth, beauty etc. Things that are transient and short-lived.

Rather, they are built upon much more enduring things that will outlive us and consist of those things that are concrete in nature and have lasting values. They consist of things that are done to reach out to the world around us rather than what we indulge ourselves in. For the mind that is rich and deep with the understanding of the ways of God, these things are the things that pleases God.

The Fundamentals For Successful Living
Jesus captured the essence of living successfully in this life, when He summarized one of His greatest sermons by this grand statement: “…take no thought for your life” (Luke 12:22). In other words “DON’T TAKE YOURSELF SERIOUSLY!” Learn to live life fulfilling the desires of the One who created you and formed you in your mother’s womb.

Jesus also gave us the fundamentals for achieving the statement He made in verse 22 of Luke chapter 12 in the verses following (Luke 12:23-40):

1. God Will Take Care of You.
God is committed to your well-being and will always take care of what you will eat, drink and wear. You need to believe this however difficult things might seem at the moment. If He cares for animals and plants, then He is committed to your matter.

2. Seek The Kingdom of God.
The things you pursue in life betrays and exposes who you are. Your heart will always go in the direction of what it treasures. So, when you seek after the things that will gratify your flesh, you are carnal. When you seek after the things that edifies your spirit, you are spiritual.
Are you seeking the kingdom? Please check your passion. Check the things you love to do. Check the places you love to go. Check the people you hang around with (Col.3:1-3).

3. Be Generous.
The one who gives to the poor becomes a creditor in the book of God (Pro.19:17), and will always move the heart of God to do the unusual in his situation or circumstance. The generous is not taken lightly by God; he is always on God’s mind (Acts 10:1-4; Ps.112:5).

4. Be Ready.
Interestingly, our motto as Christians is similar to that of the Boys’ Scout: “Be Ready”.
We have been called into warfare, and it will be a disaster if what we are doing in the battle field is to chase butterfly (2Tim.2:4). We have been called into a serious business, therefore we need to be battle-ready at all times.
We are also to be ready for His coming. It is more imminent than ever. All the things happening around us are saying one thing: “He’s coming soon!” Sooner than we can ever imagine. Therefore, we need to be ready and not caught unawares (1Thes.5:2; 2Pet.3:10).

My prayer for all of us is that the devil will not steal us away from the truth that we have. Let us embrace the light that we have because it will come in handy in the darkness that pervade our world and help us to make the right decisions.

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