If you are a parent, you have heard this question being pelleted at you from the rear seats of you vehicle as your family heads towards an exciting destination. Everyone is focused on the goal…arriving! The excitement that awaits has everyone gripped with emotion. For the kids, the struggle is to contain that flurry of excitement while being confined to a vehicle safety restraint of some kind. For the parent, especially the driver, they are hyperfocused on the path. Getting everyone safely, and sanely, to the destination.
Paul, the apostle, was certainly focused on his destination as well.
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 3:13-14 ESV)
“Straining forward.” One of the words Elizabeth George used in this chapter of Loving God with All Your Mind was “riveted.” He was careful to not let the cares of this world distract him from his goal, his PRIZE!
What about you?
Are you “riveted” on your goal? Or are you allowing yourself to be distracted by the passing scenery along the way?
Do you find yourself thinking about that certain person who SO needs to hear the sermon you are listening to, or are you examining your heart as to how it applies to your own path?
Are you examining your map (Bible) often to ensure you stay on your path and not straying down some “dead end” road?
Are you taking care of your body, eating things that nourish it and keep you focused, or are you eating “foods” that will cause you to lust after attractions along the way?
Are you steering in a way that others in your assembly can clearly follow you or are you driving in a reckless manner that puts them in danger as well?
Are you stopping often to refuel so that you do not “run out of gas,” leaving you stranded on the side of the road?
And finally, are you sharing details about that exciting destination with your children behind you, so they stay focused as well?
As believers, there are so many things out in the world to distract us from our walk with the Lord, some are so evil we would never dare go near them. But some are very enticing or are even disguised in a way that we very willingly take our eyes off the Lord. Examine your own life. What kinds of things distract you from keeping your focus on Christ? What can you do to help maintain your focus on Him? If you are like me, and let’s face it, you are, you have certain areas of temptation, those besetting sins, that seem to always be there to tempt you over and over and over again.
Food has always been a big temptation for me, and how I can use it to gratify my flesh rather than eating to nourish my body for the day ahead. Many of those foods that have satisfied my cravings in the past have left me very unhealthy today. I’m trying to change that now, but my body has been damaged greatly by what I’ve put in it. It has limited me greatly in the ways I am able to serve the Lord. I wish I could say it was the only thing that holds me back. There are others.
Take the time right now to examine your own life. What things take your eyes of Christ, off serving Him each day? What things lead are you allowing in your life that may be tempting you to not only lose your focus, but toward actual sin? What are some things that you can do to sustain your focus throughout the day?
Without a doubt, we ALL must make sure we are in the Word EVERY DAY. Depending on your situation, you may find that rather difficult, especially if you are responsible for the care of others 24/7. I’m not only speaking to mothers of young children here, but I’ve found it also true for those of us who are older and may be caring for a parent who is failing in their health and need constant attention of a different type. Who am I kidding? I think staying in the Word is a constant struggle for many of us and we all struggle with it at one time or another. If we are at at point where sitting alone with our bible for a block of time is difficult, we can at least listen to it while we go about our day. God WILL bless that effort! But it takes EFFORT! I have been told by those older and wiser than I that having an accountability partner is very important, someone who loves you and is willing to assert themselves into your day and question you as to whether you have had that time with Him.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV)
“Are we there yet?” No, not yet. But let us do everything possible to stay riveted on our goal, our prize! Christ Jesus!!