It's a long, hard road that leads to becoming our true selves. There are so many things to distract us along the way, things that draw us towards self-absorption and destructive behavior.

The next few moments of reflection offer the opportunity to focus again, to see more clearly who God is and who we truly are meant to be.

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Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.’”

Matthew 4:8–10

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If only I had my own car. If only I could win the lottery. If only I could change this one part of my body. If only (you fill in the blank), then my life would be so much easier.

We all find ourselves wishing for a quick fix of easy living sometimes, but as we follow Jesus into the wilderness, we quickly learn that this vision of “the good life” is nothing more than a mirage cast over our eyes by the Tempter’s hand to lure us off-course. There simply is no such thing as a worry-free life or problem-free living, and no one knew this better than Jesus himself.

We’re all tempted to believe at one time or another that it’s what we have or what we don’t have that defines us. But Jesus helps to restore our vision by showing us that who we are in relation to whose we are is ultimately what gives our life meaning and purpose.

Grier Booker Richards

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Holy God, when I yearn for quick-fix living, restore my patience and remind me that it is you who gives my life meaning, not the things people are constantly trying to sell me. Amen.

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Go now with faith into your struggle.

Avoid distractions of the spectacular;
See beyond the illusions,
And recognize you have what you need
To move beyond guilt to freedom.

You have been claimed by grace
And are called to celebrate the life of joy.

Grier Booker Richards

Grier Booker Richards serves as executive director and chaplain for UKirk Ministries of Greensboro in Greensboro, North Carolina. Grier is proud to be a Tar Heel and enjoys running, cooking, watching ESPN, and exploring the great outdoors with her husband, Rich, and son, Olsen.

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