Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Jeremiah 29:5
God told the exiles to make themselves “at home” in Babylon. This is the norm for God’s people—build houses, plant gardens. It’s a picture of domesticity. It’s also a long term picture, eating what our gardens produce takes time. God’s people would be in Babylon for some time learning the lessons of living in a land not their own. In the meantime, they’re to find contentment in the daily routines of life.
Sometimes we crave activity, action and adventure. While there are times for this, for the most part, life is made up of the little pleasures that family and friends bring. We can focus too much on the exciting events in our lives and forget the regular small occurrences—a sunny day, a home-cooked meal, a phone call from a friend.
Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, “to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody” (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12).
By committing to being attentive to the little pleasures in life we can lead a quiet, contented life which will impact others. When others are rushing around creating a life of excitement, wealth or prominence, our peaceful lifestyle will be a challenging contrast. People will see that we aren’t dependent on advantageous circumstances to have a happy life.
Today as we live in “our Babylons”, we know this world isn’t our real home. However, we can enjoy a life of domesticity, while living with the hope of our future heavenly home.