Sometimes I have the focus and attention span of Pixar’s dog Dug (from the movie UP). Whether it’s writing, cleaning my house, checking email, having a conversation, or reading my Bible. Someone metaphorically shouts, “Squirrel!” and I’m off to the races. With social media infiltrating into every area of our lives, I bet I’m not the only one who is continually distracted by a hundred different diversions. In fact, in having you read this blog, I’m banking on you giving me a few minutes of your attention to share my story. Some distractions are entertaining, but some can be downright dangers especially when we don’t notice where we’re drifting.
Old Testament Drifters
The writer of the book of Hebrews knew our tendency to get distracted and drift from our reconciled relationship with God was not just a possibility, it was a reality (Hebrews 2:1). Jesus isn’t going anywhere since he’s “the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). It’s us. We’re the ones that drift away. If it wasn’t our nature to wander, there’d be no need for the Spirit to have inspired Acts through Revelations; the Gospels would have been enough. But even the Old Testament is rife with reminders to “remember the Lord”. The Israelites were still in sight of Egypt when they forgot about the plagues and miracles God performed to free them from 400 years of captivity. In his Parable of the Sower, Jesus taught about our tendency to let other things take God’s place on the throne of our lives (Matthew 13:20-22). Paul constantly pleaded with the first century disciples to remember all Christ had done for them. And Jesus rounds out the New Testament by warning five of seven Revelation churches they’d drifted from their secure position and were in jeopardy of being cut off (Revelations 2:1-3:22).
Present Day Drifters
It’s easy for me to look down on my Old and New Testament brothers and sisters for wandering off the spiritual path. But I believe wandering is our default. Facebook was created because of how easily we lose touch with childhood friends, old co-workers, and neighbors. My husband and I wandered away from our relationships with God and then from each other. It’s what led to our four-year separation. If you are reading this, you chose to read it rather than doing a myriad of necessary things: work, housecleaning, laundry, yardwork, bills, exercise, community service, or spending time with family or friends. We also engage in discretionary activities that eat away at our valuable time—watching television or sports, social media, and video gaming. The reason I wrestle with balancing the necessary and the discretionary activities is because I’m limited by one thing God isn’t limited by—time. He can spend as much time with me as I need. But the amount and quality of time I spend with him each day is a clear indication of what I treasure in my life (Matthew 6:19-34). Read more…