Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Impressive Frisbee Scars and Unnecessary Distractions

Suggested Reading: Mark 4:1-9, 13-20

The largest scar on my body sits on my right elbow and I got it in a frisbee accident. I was in junior high and several of my friends had come over and we were playing frisbee in the street in front of my house. We had been throwing it back and forth for quite a while and I was probably being cocky about being able to catch anything my friends could throw at me. So one of my friends really launched it. The frisbee zipped over my head and I took off after it. My focus was intense, so intense that I didn't notice the curb that I tripped over until a split-second after snagging the frisbee from the air. The curb had been there all along and it was my street which I had lived on for a dozen years at that point, but I was so focused on the frisbee that I simply didn't see it. Somehow, I managed to hold onto the frisbee as I skidded across the sidewalk, scraping off a section of skin the size of a U.S. quarter. The scab was so big that I was constantly catching it on something and, eventually, it turned into quite an impressive scar.

As Jesus continued explaining why people don't experience results from the Word of God in their lives through the parable of the Sower and the Soil, he described a third type of person/soil, saying, "Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it didn’t produce a crop" (Mark 4:7, HCSB). He then explained that that kind of person "like seed sown among thorns, hears the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful" (Mark 4:18-19, HCSB). If Jesus were explaining it today, I believe he might rephrase this explanation, "These people hear the word and accept it but their lives are so filled with the distractions of daily activities and the pursuit of pleasure and comfort that they have no room left for the Word of God to grow within them."

I firmly believe that one of the biggest problems in our churches today is not that people don't believe the Gospel message is important or urgent but that we are so distracted with work and school and sports and television and books and games that there is simply no room left for the word of God to grow. We fill up our time with so many hobbies, and activities, and creature comforts that we simply don't have any time to hear the Spirit when he speaks to us or to meditate on the scriptures so that they can soak into our souls and fill us up with Godly insight. After all, how many times do we simply think, I would do that if I had a little more time, without thinking about the fact that many of the things we do are not necessary. They may be good. They may be helpful. They might take the stress off or help us forget our worries for a few minutes. But they aren't necessary, at least, not as necessary as leaving room for the Word of God to grow in our lives.

What things are distracting you from God's voice as it speaks into your life? What things have you used to fill up your time until there is no time left for God to speak to you and stretch you, until you are too busy to spend time meditating on God's word? What weeds will you have to remove from your own life so that there is room for God to do what God wants to do in you? What time-killing activities do you need to give up? What television shows or entertainment programs do you need to move down on your priority list so that God's Word shaping your life can move up.

Treating the Word of God Like Over-Priced Gelatto

Suggested Reading: Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 When we lived closer, my wife and I had a particular restaurant we frequented on date nights, an ...