No parasitic sins…

Susie’s comment last night about not wanting to take the time for spiritual breathing got me to thinking. My experience has been the same many times. It is all about time, is it not? Let me share my journey…what I have been learning on the way to Eternity.

I have discovered that the battle for me is not so much about temptation to sin, life’s difficult moments, thorny family circumstances or long hours at work. My struggle is about being so absorbed in these things [these distractions] that I am not ready to spend time with the One who created and understands me. I ignore the One who has lived through it all by denying Him my time.

As I was drinking coffee this morning and thinking about the “rat race” I can put myself into, I thought of a servant. What servant would ignore their Master? How would they know how to act, talk or when, where, or how to serve? The individual that was in the position of being a servant could call themselves a Servant but their actions would tell a different story. I have never had a servant so this illustration is not real to my world.

On my second cup of coffee, I thought of Jesus’ words to the disciples. “Once you were servants but now I call you my friends…” [This is my loosely paraphrased rendition.] I have friends. If I call Ron my friend but rarely make an attempt to talk to him and ignore him when he tries to call me or visit my home…I could not claim to be his friend. Maybe I go see Ron only at Christmas time or at weddings and funerals. Nobody would be willing to say that we had a friendship.

My greatest need is not a superior faith, a better understanding of doctrine, a greater ability to verbalize my faith or more hours in the day. My greatest need is to build a friendship with my Friend. And that is all about time.

Hebrews 12: 1 – 3 in the Message Bible puts it this way:

Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!

I have been thinking lately that life moves swiftly and we run frantically to keep up with it. We try to achieve so much by multi-tasking. We are in constant motion. And when we are not in motion, our minds are in motion planning out the next move. I would be a millionaire with the number of times I have awoken at 1am and laid awake with my mind refusing to shut down. I suspect that so much constant motion should be a red flag that I am not pausing enough to regularly examine my life or even to spend time with my Creator. Being in constant motion is one of the master tools of the Enemy to prevent me from asking myself how much my life mirrors what God desires for me.

The question running around in my brain during this last year is simply this: “What am I really accomplishing, especially in light of eternity?” I keep asking myself just how much of what I do is going to matter after I am only a memory in the people that know me. Even more graphic and Jesus provided the graphics…of the things I am doing, what is made of gold, silver and precious stones? Those are the things that will last past the grave because they will past the test of fire. All of the rest is made of hay, wood and underbrush. We who live here in sunny California know how excellent a fuel this is for the eager flames!

Today, I challenge you to pause with me and evaluate your life’s pace. Are you exhausted by all of the self-inflicted expectations of hay, wood and underbrush? Or are you thriving in your God-directed purpose made of gold, silver and precious stones…building a “nest-egg” in heaven where moth cannot eat at it and rust is unknown?