Monday, April 17, 2006

Weighted Down

Hello, there everyone! Man, it's been a while since I last blogged anything. On Saturday, I dropped the kids off at my parent's house. I was greeted by my step dad, Don, saying, "You're falling behind, Jeffrey! You haven't blogged since Tuesday!" It isn't that I haven't had anything to say, but I have been busy. Sometimes, no matter how much we want to sit down to do something we love, as I do writing, that other things at times wrestle into that spot. Of course, I think what Pastor Darrell said on his blog the other day is certainly true: the arrival of spring weather leads us to do other things. For me, it is playing with the kids outside, or starting in some much needed yard work. That reminds me, I need to get some yard waste bags on the way home!

We have a habit of allowing "stuff" to hinder us. Look. we all have important stuff that needs to get done, and sometimes it requires our immediate attention. I guess what I am talking about is the pursuit of things that don't really have any lasting value. I want to keep my yard looking good and healthy, but I don't want to do that at the expense of never spending the time needed with my kids. In fact, I'm struggling with this even as I write. I was outside Saturday with my kids in the backyard, and they we're playing and wanting me to push them on the swing watch them go down the slide, throw the tee balls and tennis balls around with them. While I was spending that time with them, I had one eye on the ground, looking at all the sticks that the annoying cottonwood tree drops all over the yard. I knew that soon I'd have to pick them up before cutting the grass for the first time this year. So, I had an idea. "Hey kids, I've got a fun game we can play! It's called, 'Pick up sticks!' My very wise 6-year old then said to me from her favorite swing, "That's not a game, Daddy!" To my shame, put in place by a little kid!

We do the same thing with the Lord. We allow "stuff" to weigh us down and keep us from drawing close to him. I guess I am continuing in my seemingly scattered series in prayer, now that I've been writing for awhile. We let things distract us, and keep us from the only true life-giving time we have, that is time alone with the Life-Giver! The early church had this problem, too. Only, they were worried that their faith in Christ would cost them their lives, and were considering renouncing faith in Jesus and going back to the Old Covenant system of Judaism. The "stuff" that weighed them down were the fears of losing their lives. And that "stuff" kept them from their life in Christ, which is a life trust and prayer with the Lord. The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews had this to say to them:

"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" Heb. 12:1

The point today is to remind us all that the most important relationship we as Christians have isn't with a spouse or a child or a parent. It is with the Lord Jesus Christ. It is he who made us, he who saved us from our sin, he who forgave us, and he who is working out the process of making us more like him on a daily basis. By the way, this "stuff" or weight doesn't have to be some secular pursuit like video games or golf. It can be church work or ministry of various sorts. I think that some of us have equated our relationship with God with the work we do for him. It's simply untrue. It's because of my relationship with the Lord that I want to serve him, to work for him. Here's an analogy: I'd have a pretty sad relationship with my kids if it were defined by them cleaning their rooms and picking up toys to make me happy. I am happy when they cling to me and say, "I want you, Daddy!" In fact, last night before the Easter Cantata, all three kids were doing that! Talk about being a happy guy!

So, don't let "stuff" weigh you down and keep you from the time you need with the Lord Jesus. Well, that's all for now. God bless, friends!


Neil said...

We all have stuff, that is for sure!
It's amazing when our kids put us in place isn't it? When our oldest was younger I was trying creative discipline, so I would make her go to her room and watch TLC or something like that, then she started liking it, then it was the weather channel, now I take her cell phone...Kids just seem smarter these days, catch on too quick!

Good word Jeff!

ruthrap said...

'Thanks for posting, Jeff, I was beginning to think I wasn't going to find a new post at all today!
Darrell was right about the weather taking every one outside. We had another good day today, although it didn't start out too good. I agree with you about letting "things" weigh you down. It reminds me of a saying I heard somewhere....It goes "The most important things in life aren't "things". Nothing can take the place of the love we receive from our families and most important from our Heavenly Father.

Deborha's Palm Tree said...

Last Sunday, my Pastor related that during worship his grandson came up to him and wanted to be held. While he was holding him he was thanking God for the blessing of his grandchildren and family. He said he started to feel 'guilty' because his mind was on his grandchild and not on God at that moment. Then he said he heard God say to him, " That's okay Bob, I feel the same way when I hold you." Hmmm?

Thanx for sharing...