Sunday, March 3, 2013

Slipping Away

A student once decided to get very serious about his studies. It was his last year of High School and he knew he would have to get his grades up if he hoped to get into the college of his choice. He decided he would face this challenge no matter the cost and set upon eliminating anything that was not part of his goals.

He packed up his gaming gear and put it in storage. He went through his computer and removed any apps that were a distraction, that did not add to his goal. He did the same with his phone. He spoke to his friends and told them how serious he was and that he would not be participating in many of their usual activities, instead putting his time into his studies. He went through his room and removed anything that he thought would rob him of his time, and he organized everything to its maximum efficiency.

His effort paid off.

Half way through the year his marks had jumped significantly. His teachers were all pleased with his improvement and the guidance counselor was helping him get his applications together. Things were looking great but it did not come without a cost. Several of his friends had developed other friendships. They were still friendly enough but since he had less time for them the bonds were not there any more. He had also lost touch with his favorite shows and had missed several block buster movies, and he loved movies. He had also missed the release of the new editions to his favorite games. Life had become pretty routine and he was starting to get tired of the routine.

One day he decided to take a break.

As a reward for his hard work he decided to watch an episode of one of his favorite shows. At the end of it he was left with several questions not knowing how the story had evolved to this point. At first he tried to read up on the show but then decided to download  the six months he had missed. Without realizing it, he ended up staying up all night catching up. However, he aced the two tests he had the following day. He felt pretty good, so a week later he decided to get caught up on a couple of other shows. A month later the gaming gear came out and he borrowed the new versions of his favorite games just to try them out. Within two months his grades had dropped and his hopes for his choice of colleges slipped away.

What's the point? Simply this: we have to decide what is important and stick to it. No distractions. No rewarding ourselves. No down time. If Jesus Christ is our all then anything that distracts us from this purpose must be eliminated. It is not a matter of balance. It is all or nothing. Paul wrote to Timothy:

No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. (2 Timothy 2:4)

You can't have a divided heart. You can't have the best of both worlds. You can't serve two masters:

No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. (Matthew 6:24)

God is consistent throughout the Word, "Love the Lord your God with all your ...". The important part here is the "all". There are no excuses for anything less than our all. None.

So take a look at your life, a real close look, and ask yourself if it matches your words. Is it a reflection of your purpose, your goal? Or have you fallen asleep? Have you allowed things to distract you? Are you taking a break, rewarding yourself for doing so well? Are you slipping away thinking you are okay? Let the Spirit speak to you today and follow his direction.

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