I posted a picture on Instagram this morning. It was a picture of a study Bible that my wife bought for me some years ago. It was the best gift I’ve gotten in a while. At the time, she recognized my desire to know God in the best way I could. Reading every day, challenging what I was told, researching the scriptures. She got it for me a little but after I preached my initial sermon. I used to use it all the time. Key words there are USED TO.
I don’t use it much nowadays. With the advancement of technology, you don’t really have to carry your Bible around anymore. You can download any version of the Bible you want onto your phone or tablet, and you can just pull either out when it’s time to use it. Don’t believe me? Try this – the next time you go to church, and the preacher provides the text of his sermon, see how many people around you pull out their phones or whip an iPad or GalaxyTab out on ya. Hey – it’s NOT what I’ve OBSERVED. It’s what I KNOW. I’VE done it. Still doing it…..but Houston, we have a problem.
I admittedly haven’t read my Bible in a long, long time, and I’m totally ashamed of what I’ve become in the process. My last blog depicted me as a powerless individual; one who was in dire straits, had come to the end of his rope, DESPERATE with no place or no ONE to turn to; hopeless, lost; towel in hand, ready to throw it in. This morning, I decided to do something different. What have I got to lose at this point, right? So I grabbed my Bible from the side of my recliner and just opened it up. DIdn’t pray first, didn’t look in my email to see what daily reading BibleGateway.com had sent. I just opened it up and started reading. No particular passage stood out. I just read what I saw. And I understood what I read. So after a few minutes, I continued to prepare for work, checking on my ten year old (who just celebrated a birthday Monday), and went about business as usual. On the way home from work, however, I heard this:
Now, I know I typed that in all caps, but it wasn’t loud. It was subtle, almost quiet. I didn’t have the radio on. Just the window down driving along, thinking about all the crap that’s going on in my life and trying to “figure things out” –
Distracted by what? The fact that you’re worrying about money, your home, the new baby, health insurance, money, money, bills, money – YOU’RE DISTRACTED. I’ve let EVERYTHING around me consume me to the point where IT took precedence over what was and is MOST IMPORTANT. Not only that, my faith waned. I’m not gonna lie – I’ve gotten weak man. REAL weak. Always one to focus on the tiny light at the end of a very long and dark tunnel, I was now the one focused on the darkness. I became DISTRACTED. And no, I’m not blaming the devil. We give him too much credit. Wasn’t his fault. As a matter of fact, it may have been more of ME than it was HIM. He didn’t have to do much, I’ll say that. When I heard “YOU’RE DISTRACTED”, I knew it. I knew what I’d been doing wrong. Everything is all outta whack.
Everything in our life has it’s place. OUR job is to PRIORITIZE. OUR job is to make sure that we keep the main thing the main thing………………………………………………………………………………………….yeah, when I first heard it I laughed too, but you won’t really know how true that is until you’re faced with the same issue. Go ahead, marinate on that & come back later to finish, lol. If God ain’t first, it’s time to reshuffle the deck, and every time you re-deal, make sure that GOD card is first. If not, reshuffle and re-deal. I had a reshuffle moment this morning, and I know this isn’t an overnight fix. We ALL fall off. We’re ALL human. The paramount issue here is to move swiftly into reconciliation. We don’t have the time we THINK we have. Look around you – war, civil unrest, random violence. When we leave our homes, there is NO guarantee that we’ll make it back, It’s only by God’s grace that I’m even writing this blog, and that same grace is allowing you to read it. And I don’t want to live out the rest of my life, however long it is, worrying all the time about the stuff I have NO control over. And when God has already declared that He can fix whatever we’re in, then WHAT in the WORLD am I trippin’ off of? But I’ll say this much – He’s not obligated to do anything FOR me if I’m not doing anything for HIM, and distractions will keep us from doing what we need to do. Spending time with God is what He desires and what he commands. It’s time to stop playing around.
So even in typing this, there’s no TV on, and the house is quiet. Perfect time for me to give God what He loves – ME!