[CF Devotionals] 2010-05-18 - Essence

My husband and I have been avid birdwatchers and bird “foster parents” for 25 years, and we recently had one of those sad but inevitable experiences. Before leaving town for a week, we did everything we could, to protect the Wrens who were nesting on our front porch, in a canvas chair. I even put a computer-generated sign on another chair, blocking the sidewalk to that porch, and asking people to use the other door. But when we returned home, we found the cozy folded chair had been opened (the Wrens had chosen it when it was tight), the nest tossed out of the chair, and the heartbreaking sight of eggs splattered on the front porch, with the babies’ yellow lifeblood trailing along the porch (we still aren’t sure of the culprit, but we are guessing a cat or fox). I told my husband “That is so sad; I can’t eat eggs for awhile, for every time I see yolks, I will think of the little birds’ lifeblood. That was their essence.

And that “set me to thinking,” as is sometimes said here in the “country.” What is my essence? What is your essence as a wife, a mother, a friend, a daughter? What should be our essence as Christians?

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines essence thusly:

1 a : the permanent as contrasted with the accidental element of being b : the individual, real, or ultimate nature of a thing especially as opposed to its existence <a painting that captures the essence of the land> c : the properties or attributes by means of which something can be placed in its proper class or identified as being what it is.

What is our “individual, real or ultimate nature?” It can be made up of several elements. What is yours; what would you like to be known for? Child / servant of God? Loving spouse or parent? Caring friend? Faithful church member? Now after we think about what makes us “us,” we can see if our everyday priorities (time, attention, money) line up with our essence.

Of course, eventually, “the perishable must clothe itself with the perishable” for Heaven (see 1 Corinthians 15:47 ff.). But even today, everything we do and say relates to our eternal nature, and our everyday lives, as the “us” God created us, should reflect this. I encourage you to ask God to help you think through what constitutes your essence, and whether you are living up to that in your daily life. As always, I would enjoy hearing from you, if you are thinking through these things.


[email jan]  cfdevcfpray@yahoo.com