A friend of mine sat in the hospital waiting room while someone close to him was having
surgery. He noted among the pile of magazines that litter the waiting room was a
monthly magazine dedicated to cats. He loves cats! I commented something to the
effect he would read it if there was nothing else to read. Yet in today’s technology driven
age that was never a problem. He had his Kindle and a pastoral related book to read.
He learned early on from John Maxwell that the time we have must be redeemed and
that ideal has stuck with him.
Let me be clear, being a former cat owner, I have nothing against cats. But, that
magazine is a good reminder for me, for us. The world is full of cat magazines that
intend to rob us of our time and time is short. The stark reality of this truth confronts me
whenever I sit down at my computer to bang away at the keyboard for Sunday.
There are many things to distract us today. As I sit at my laptop it is enticing to make a
few clicks and soon I am catching up on what a friend had for breakfast, on another’s
desire to have a pet otter, or read the latest news on the Steelers. There is nothing
wrong in and of themselves (well maybe with the pet otter thing) but we must not let the
things of the world steal the time we have been given.
Early on in His life Jesus told His parents, “I must be about my Father’s business” (Luke
2:49). Peter quoting the prophet Joel to the crowd in Acts 2:17 reminds us, “We are in
the last days.” James reminds us in his letter, “Yet you do not know what your life will be
like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes
away” (James 4:14).
We must redeem the time we have for the glory of the One who sacrificed himself for us
and those around us.
I challenge you to invest your time in fellowship with our Lord and in those He brings
into your life.
My wife and I caught a break in the weather. So we took advantage of it to go for a walk to a beautiful waterfall not far from our house. I enjoy walks in the woods. It doesn’t matter if there is an end goal to the walk such as a waterfall, overlook, or any other spectacular feature. I simply enjoy the peace and beauty of nature. I can find a place to sit and soak in the surroundings. I know others who do not understand this. They enjoy the walk in the woods if there is something waiting on the other end like the aforementioned waterfall. There is nothing wrong with that, we just see things differently. We both enjoy nature but for different reasons.
Unfortunately some have this view of God. They enjoy His presence only if they have something waiting on the other end. There has to be something in it for them beyond the simple presence of Jesus. In the gospel of John we meet such a group. In John 6 the apostle records Jesus feeding the 5,000. The next day He was in Capernaum and the crowd who had been fed tracked Him down. Jesus says to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled” (John 6:26). They did not come for Jesus to be in His presence but for what could satisfy themselves.
We must not seek Jesus for the waterfall but for His presence. “Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me will not hunger, and he who believes in me will never thirst.” Jesus is the end game to our searching, everything else is a bonus. Today take time this week to sit in His presence with no other goal in mind.