It is really amazing how quickly our focus can change. Last week at this time I was eagerly looking forward to watching March Madness, the NCAA basketball tournament. My favorite team, the Kansas Jayhawks were seeded very high in the tournament and I was looking forward to several weekends of watching them inch closer to hopefully a repeat as national champions.
One week later, I really haven’t thought much about the tournament. Actually, I probably won’t even watch the rest of the tournament. What happened you might ask? The team I was following lost. They are out of the tournament and so virtually all my motivation to continue watching has left.
If you enjoy following sports (and I suspect many of you do), the experience of having your team getting knocked out of the competition isn’t really anything new. As we all know, this is life and life goes on. That is what I wanted to share with you about.
What I find intriguing is how quickly I am able to shift from having my attention consumed with an event to completely focusing on something else. And, I have noticed that there is always the “next thing” that I have been conditioned to focus. If the focus has been sports, there is always another season around the corner. If the focus is politics, there is always the next election cycle that seems to commence even before all the ballots have been counted. I have even noticed a similar phenomenon in the Church. We currently are gearing up for what many refer to as Holy Week. All the anticipation of a grand and glorious celebration of praising the risen Lord will fade like a Mississippi sunset. Without so much as a moment to catch our breath, the shift will turn to Mother’s Day, Graduation, Memorial Day, and Summer.
Each of these areas of life, sports, politics, or even congregational life can call us to be very active and engaged, leaving us with the feeling that we are really living life. As we close one door only to open the next door, what is often left underdeveloped is the richer, deeper walk with God by the Holy Spirit.
One of life’s annoyances is the reality that one can’t really develop a meaningful relationship with God in a hurry or on our time schedule. One of the rich treasures of a developing spiritual life is the reality that one can’t really develop it in a hurry or on our time schedule. The world around us seeks to lock us into predictable patterns that rob us to going deeper with God or to really know ourselves. The treadmill of life invites us to jump on and never get off. If we follow this strategy, we will find ourselves having been very busy, spent, full of moments in time, but very little to show that has eternal value.
I hope as you travel through life you will think about these ramblings and consider the possibility that we might very well be on that endless treadmill that consumes our minds and energies but leaves us spiritually undeveloped and eternally bankrupt. I challenge you to break out of the pattern of this world and experience the transformative work of the Holy Spirit. Before you invest your time and passions in the next thing of our culture’s agenda, why not take a detour into God’s Word, into deeper conversations with God and His family, and to looking for ways to make the corner of the world where you are look a little more like what God designed it to be in creation.
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