Monday, July 26, 2010

A subtle shift...

I've been on auto pilot. I've been sailing through days without my heart and mind fully engaged. This morning, as I was reading from Hebrews I got another wonderful, gentle reminder from God that he wants my full attention.

We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, 
so that we do not drift away. Hebrews 2:1

I am so thankful that God had me pause and truly reflect and meditate on this verse. I got so caught up in my own "stuff" that I didn't even realize that I had drifted until this morning. I once saw one of those little church signs that said "If God seems far away, who moved?" I could make a million and one excuses, but the truth is that other things were given my careful attention and my relationship with God drifted from the center.

I am amazed at how subtle it was.  It didn't happen all at once, it was a slow and frighteningly easy parting. I was praying, but it was more like "Thank you, God, for the (fill in the blank)..."  my mouth was telling God that I was thankful, but my heart barely paused to reflect on God's goodness and mercy. I was praying for others with my full attention but I had devoted little time to praying for things in my own life. I hadn't really examined my own heart's condition. The "weeds" that I was starting to see in my life didn't just suddenly appear out of nowhere. I neglected the careful tending of my own thought and prayer life. From my own experience, I know full well it is easiest to pull out weeds when they are still small. They are easier to remove before their roots have fully developed. The author of Hebrews warns us to pay careful attention because it is so easy to become complacent, to drift.

I looked up the definition of the word drift, and it completely described how I've been feeling lately. To drift means to be carried along by currents or wind or by the force of circumstances. Happiness depends on my circumstances, and frankly, I haven't been terribly happy lately. Joy comes from a connection with Jesus and is completely beyond our circumstances. I had mindlessly drifted from my Father and lost my Joy. Drift means to wander aimlessly. Since I really hadn't sought God's true direction for my life, I was just wandering from task to task. My focus was missing and my sense of purpose, gone. Finally, drift means to deviate from a set course. 

In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.
Proverbs 16:9

I'm so glad that God so lovingly pointed me back in the right direction. I had drifted, but God called me back before I was in danger. He isn't waiting for us to fail, he's gently calling us back to a true relationship with him. When we allow him to direct our steps we stop the drift and can be fully restored to his care.

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