Sidetracked? in the Word 8-10-15

Sidetracked? in the Word 8-10-15

Distracted, disorganized, disoriented, lazy, or forgetfulness can  all bring us to become side tracked.
Think of it this way, we are traveling on a train track at a good speed and someplace along the way someone changes the switch and we go off on a side track to a different location than we had planned.

The main track is our walk with Christ, our destination eternal life with Him in heaven and or the new earth. Our focus is to be upon reaching this point in our lives and being ready when Christ comes or calls us home. In today’s world we get a lot of people telling us when they think all that will come to pass. I often joke that I will live to be a hundred and seven years old; when the reality is I do not know the day nor the hour that I will die. None of us really do. In that same reality we do not know when Jesus will return nor do we know what exactly that will be like.  The book of Revelations alone has many ideas to follow about it and yet Jesus says in Mathew 24:36; “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.

We are also told that we are not to get caught up in the cares of this world but to stay focused on the prize at the end. Jesus and eternal life is that prize.

 The seed that fell among the thorns represents others who hear God’s word,  but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced.  And the seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and accept God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”  Mark 4:18-20

Each summer I take a team with me to do Vacation Bible School and help at two camps in a small town in California. During the VBS we have day trips for the team to have some extra fun. On one of our trips to the local waterfall we found ourselves going a little farther than we had planned. We thought we were going to see the falls but our host had another plan that proved to be a challenge for some of us and an excitement for there rest. I realize now that it could have been a lot more enjoyable had I known ahead of time but it was quite the learning experience to myself to trust my leader to direct my path.
There was a trail that leads to a lake we were going to swim at. Not realizing we would be over a mile and a half away from our vehicle I did not bring anything but my water bottle and a phone to take pictures with.  After a visit and photo op to the picturesque waterfall we assumed we would go back up to the car and drive to the lake. That is when we were told that we would take the little trail to the water. Confused at first but then delighted that it was only a ‘short trail’ to the beach I agreed to take my team on the walk. As we journey through the woods it became evident the walk was a hike and as we also were soon to learn it was 1.8 miles long. The day was hot, I had not brought snacks with me, that bag was back in the car still; and I did not feel like taking a hike. I felt like floating in the water or something, not walking through the woods. 

I allowed myself to get discouraged and thought of how it felt going through the hot wooded area and almost missed a beautiful sight!  Above us in the trees was a bald eagle next with a young bird in it!  It was a stop and smell the roses moment, and then we went on. From that point we focused on the fact that the water was near and we could cool off and refill our waters at a drinking fountain. It was a short hike, in comparison to some but the heat had made me miserable on the start; the challenge was to find the good in it! At first we were so focused on the lake that as we approached one side we were ready to swim to the area we saw as a beach on the other side, even though it was way far by water it was very close by foot. Had we actually tried it the heat and hike’s effect on our unprepared bodies would have made it even harder.
Sometimes we can get side tracked by what we think is supposed to happen at a certain time, in a certain way, and when things do not go the way we thought we get discouraged and want to quit. But God has a better plan! He helps us find the reason in the challenge!
We do not know when we will reach the end; we do not know when God will call us home or come back for us. God does though and so we need to stay connected to Him.
We need to spend time daily in prayer, and in study and in reading of the Word of God. I know I say this alot but that should tell you something; God wants your attention and mine, He wants us in His Word!
To not be side tracked by the length, the amount of water we have or the change in plans we thought we knew we need to do a few things.
1)     Do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will take care of itself. That is when we give God the controls in our life, asking Him to be Lord and Guide of our destiny. For He knows the plans He has for us…
2)     Do not be fooled! (Matthew 24:23-35) God’s time is not our time, He knows when things should happen in our lives and we need to trust Him to direct and guide our paths. Follow Him with trust! (Proverbs 3:5-6)
3)     Trust God- Follow His lead and stay connected. If we had let the leader get too far ahead we may have taken the side path and gotten lost. Keeping in touch helped us to know we were getting close and what we would find at the end of the trail. Asking questions and getting answers from our lead helped us to focus on the things ahead and not the things around us that would pull us down.
Focus on God, listen to Him through His Word today and every day so that you will know His voice and that will be exactly what you need in the end.  He is the prize; follow after Him.
Dear Heavenly Father thank you for directing us personally on our daily walks with You. Guide us with Your Word each day, in Jesus’ name, amen.

Suggested reading: Mathew 24:1-51, Mark 4:1-41. and Romans 3:1-31.