This month, I am trying some changes to my blog. Cross Training will post on Mondays. The format will be a devotional or short Bible study with an eye towards adults. I’m including a series of questions you may use for introspection or to spur discussion with your children over the coming week. I plan to drop the book reviews to focus on Cross Training. I will post an occasional Gayle’s Gable and Zuno’s Pick to let you know what Zuno and I are reading and to let you share your favorites. Any feedback regarding the new format would be appreciated.
Chase What Matters
Murky green slime oozed from my precious boy’s blond hair. Wet and wide-eyed, he dangled from my grasp as I hoisted him from the duck pond before climbing out myself. Engaged in full duck-chasing mode, my two-year-old realized he’d been outwitted by his quacking quarry. He had hoped to catch a feathered friend, but now the only thing he might catch was a cold. How had such a great attempt ended in such disaster?
My quacker tracker possessed many qualities that stood him in good stead:
* He chose a specific target. He wasn’t running willy-nilly after every living thing. He spotted the duck and made his choice.
* He focused. Neither his mother’s words of warning, other ducks, or the nearby zoo held any interest for him.
*He gave the necessary effort. Catching a duck who is not interested in being caught makes for a difficult task. He chased his prey around trees, under picnic tables, and sadly, into the lovely green waters of the duck pond.
And therein lies the problem.
He didn’t think about what he was chasing and where it might go. Though I noticed when the duck headed for water, he didn’t. All he saw was duck.
Sometimes, I go chasing too and find myself not only wet and slimy, but with a wounded wing as well. The world dangles its goods before me and I chase, only to discover it was a decoy and I’m the one captured.
Proverbs 21:21 NIV says, “He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity, and honor.” Many seek life, prosperity, and honor, but they certainly don’t go about it by pursuing righteousness and love. Yet, if these are things worth pursuing, how do we achieve it?
- Choose righteousness and love as your targets; release everything else.
- Focus. Be intentional with your time, your thoughts, and your words. Actions will follow.
- Make the effort. Pursuit doesn’t take place on the sofa. Get moving, one choice at a time.
And the prize?
Life with meaning and purpose:
“. . . I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” (John 10:10 NIV)
“However, as it is written: ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him’” (I Corinthians 2: 9 NIV)
“ . . . But now the LORD declares, ‘. . . Those who honor me I will honor,. . .’” (I Samuel 2:30 NIV)
So get your ducks in a row. Are they worth the chase or is it time to set your sights on something higher?
Discussion Questions for the Week:
Day 1: What are you chasing? What prize does it offer?
Day 2: What will it cost you to get it? In the choosing (giving up other things) and in focus and effort (giving of yourself)?
Day 3: Can this target deliver or is it an empty promise? If it can deliver, is it worth it?
Day 4: What distracts or dissuades you from chasing God and the things that are important to Him?
Have you experienced any benefits from following Him or have you known others who have?
Day 5: What will following God cost you? Do you think it’s worth it?