Points to Ponder/Working Hard? For What?
by Pastor Dennis Whitmore
Have you ever worked so hard that you did not really realize it until much later when you were beat and exhausted? How many of us are working hard every day to keep God out of our lives? Some folks have not managed to see the connection between their current misery and a long drawn-out practice of shoving God aside. Maybe that’s you.
C.S. Lewis described it well. He put it in terms of a guideline for living. Follow these directions, and you will surely keep God out of your affairs:
“Avoid silence, avoid solitude, avoid any train of thought that leads off the beaten track. Concentrate on money, sex, status, health and (above all) on your own grievances. Keep the radio on. Live in a crowd. Use plenty of sedation. If you must read books, select them very carefully, but you’d be safer to stick to the papers. You’ll find the advertisements helpful; especially those with a sexy or a snobbish appeal.” (from Reaching for the Invisible God, Philip Yancey, p. 121)
How hard are some of us working to keep from hearing God’s voice or to avoid making the necessary changes in the direction of our lives? At the end of the day (the month, the year...) what do you have to show for all the hours of hard living, mindless T.V. programs, and goals that have no eternal value?
“Teach us to number our days aright that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)
To number our days is to realize how priceless and special each day of our lives is. Each day has a higher purpose than we usually assign to it. Assign your days to finding and fulfilling what God would have you do. But to do that, you must be intentional about listening for God’s direction and inviting Him into the moment. Find time to read even just a chapter from the Bible. Wean yourself from the television - move it out of the center of your living space. (Do you really want a box to be the center of your home life?) Stop focusing on what you do not have and begin adding up and being thankful for all that you do have. Get alone. Get quiet. Be with the Lord. It may take awhile, but take all the time that must be taken.
Noble causes are never easy or convenient. They are noble and of the higher order because they require more of us than we think we can give. They challenge us to be so much more than what we are; and only our God can truly get us to that level. The question is: Do you really want more than what you have? Are you right with the Lord?
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Whitmore serves God at the First United Methodist Church in Laurel, MD.