Temporary Tents

ttHebrews 11:9;11 “…he lived in tents…. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.”

Some of my sweetest memories surround camping vacations when our kids were young. I always felt a sense of freedom from perfection when we camped. So what if the food got a little charred over the coals…we had a campfire! A little more dirt or sand than we were used to? A few more insects? Didn’t matter. We didn’t expect normalcy; we expected the unexpected. Things didn’t have to be “just right” to be enjoyed. We knew our sacrifices of convenience were short-lived so we pitched our temporary tents and made the most of the moment.

I think we would experience more happiness in life if we cultivated a “temporary tent” mindset. If we viewed our short span here on earth as a privilege to enjoy rather than a chore to get “right.” If we modeled Abraham, who refused to get trapped into giving permanent status to impermanent things. For example…

When his wife Sarah died, Abraham took her body to be buried in Canaan (Genesis 23). This meant he had to buy land from the Hittites. They took advantage of Abraham’s grief (and wealth), charging him an exorbitant amount of money for the tract of land he wanted. But rather than bickering over the injustice, he simply paid their asking price. He didn’t fear being momentarily taken advantage of because his eyes were set on something more lasting. He knew his destiny resided in the eternal God—El Olam—not the hands of men (Genesis 21).

How much unnecessary stress would we be spared if we walked in that kind of faith? We have the opportunity to place our fleeting moments of inconvenience and day-by-day encounters with imperfection in the broader perspective of eternity.

If you’re at all like me, you may find it a hard mindset to maintain. We have to be reminded occasionally not to take life—or ourselves— too seriously. Remember not to let impermanent things swallow up the permanent.

So how about it? Ready to break out the sleeping bags and Coleman stove and set up a “temporary tent?” Figuratively speaking, of course!

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