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The very real dangers of entanglement

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Are you one of those people who frequently says, “where did the time go”?

This happens to a lot of us, especially when we get too busy. Like when you’re burning the candle at both ends busy.

“Busy” probably describes most people but being ‘too busy’ is what I want to focus on with this post. In particular, I want to talk about how easy it is even on our best days for God to occasionally get left out, while on those ‘too busy’ days He likely isn’t even thought of at all.

I’m one of those who believe that the Lord is at work in our lives each day. Because of this, I recognize that His presence is also a daily occurrence in my life.

My point being that I never have to wonder if God is with me. I know that He is.

Now, does that mean I don’t have times when I question “Lord, where are you”? Of course not! Like all of you, I am sometimes slow to adjust to God’s timing, thinking that He should react immediately to my petitions.

We all know that the Lord just doesn’t work like that.

Well, at least He doesn’t in my life.

None of this however changes the fact that God is always with us. He is the faithful one in our relationship, and fortunately for all of us he is never ‘too busy’ for us, nor does he forget about us. I don’t know how He does it, but somehow, He always makes time for us.

We, on the other hand, can get so busy with this thing we call ‘life’ that God gets shoved aside. Just stop for a moment and think of all the things you’ve done today and add those to tomorrow’s ‘to do list’, and you get a picture of how busy your life really is.

Seriously, some of us could apply for the position of a circus juggler because we are constantly having to juggle our time and schedules.

What’s amazing about this is that we don’t even realize it. In fact, it’s our everyday, normal life isn’t it? It’s like a saying we used to use at work that “the abnormal has become normal”.

Herein is the danger of becoming too busy with life. We don’t realize how much of ourselves we are constantly pouring into other things, people, or causes.

All at the expense of allowing God to pour into us, which He cannot do because we are too busy with everything else but Him!

The apostle Paul recognized the danger of allowing ourselves to become entangled in a multitude of things, things that eventually entrap us much like a bird in a snare. In his 2nd letter to Timothy, Paul wrote the following:

No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.”  2 Tim. 2:4

As in all of his writings, Paul sees the relationship we have with Christ as one where we are in a battle. We have been enlisted as soldiers in God’s army, with a duty to carry out His orders.

Paul understands that if we are to please the One who is giving us our marching orders, we cannot become entangled with the affairs of this life. To do so would cause our attention to be diverted away from the task He has assigned to us.

Many of you can no doubt relate to being pulled a hundred different directions at one time, and this is what Paul is warning us against. Simply put, if we have become ‘too busy’ to be able to respond to our Leader, we have ceased to be a soldier that is pleasing to Him.

All of us have causes and projects that we support or have any number of family obligations that must be attended to. Paul is not telling us to abandon those things, but rather to make sure they do not become a snare to us.

The key here is to strike a balance between life’s obligations and giving time and attention to the One who makes our lives possible.

By doing this, we don’t have to worry about becoming ensnared by the everyday affairs of this life. We can be productive, positive members of society and also good soldiers of the One who has called us.

Have a blessed day,

Ron

 

 

 

 

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Time Out,Anyone?

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It’s amazing how cluttered our lives have become. Like the proverbial stuffed attic at your aging aunt Clara’s house, our days have become so filled with “stuff” that there’s hardly time to catch our breath. attic

The sheer number of things we cram into our days would be mind boggling to those a generation before us, incomprehensible to those just two generations ago. When you consider our ten to twelve hour work days, children’s after school activities, various appointments, and if we’re lucky a quickly assembled dinner, it’s no wonder we collapse into our beds exhausted from it all.

This time of the year of course, with its holiday planning, shopping excursions, and endless “to do” lists just seems to take it to a whole other level. And it’s very apparent that the pace of it all is taking its toll on us.

You can see it on the streets and highways as people drive ever faster and more aggressively in their hurry to get to the next thing on their list. You do understand that THEIR list is more important than yours, don’t you?

You see it in the grocery store as people rarely smile but instead offer up a face that reveals nothing remotely close to “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas”. Cue the theme song from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”! Grinch

You see it at Walmart where the “greeter” doesn’t even try to greet because somehow or another he always seems to be preoccupied. Where kids are screaming for this and that and their parents want us to believe that those are actually the neighbors kids.

Who could blame anyone for wanting to run away from it all to find a moment of solace in the midst of the insanity?

Sometimes I wish I had one of those whistles that referees have hanging from their necks. Only I want a super colossal ginormous one that could be heard round the world. If I had one I would blow it a few times until I had everyone’s attention.

Then I would throw a penalty flag for “unnecessary abuse of the time God has allotted us”, and penalize all of us 15 minutes. penalty flagThat’s right, not 15 yards, but 15 minutes.

Then I would signal a 15 MINUTE TIME OUT!

A simple 15 minute time out to breathe, to catch up, to reflect. So much of this precious commodity that we call time is slipping through our fingers. Slipping away into eternity, leaving in its wake an empty vacuum of soon forgotten minutiae.

This life we live is described in scripture as a vapor (James 4:14). It doesn’t last for long when you compare it to eternity. Certainly I’m not the only one now asking where did the years go, am I?

Do yourself and your family a huge Christmas favor this year. Call a time out. You won’t be sorry you did.

‘Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. ‘    Ephesians 5:15-16   emphasis mine

Be blessed,   Ron