So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it. Hebrews 2:1
Squinting at the shore, I didn't recognize my surroundings. None of the beach umbrellas looked familiar. Neither did any of the houses that lined the shore. After riding a wave in, I began to walk down the beach and continued to walk and walk and walk.
While relaxing in the water without a care in the world, I hadn't noticed the waves. I floated while the waves gently moved me here and there. Over time, I began to drift, without even knowing it. My lack of attention took me in a direction I didn't see coming.
Today's passage in Hebrews speaks about a different type of drift - one we're all susceptible to getting swept up by; one that can cause us to look up from our surroundings having us wonder, "how did I get here?"
Our hearts will head in whatever direction leads to the fulfillment of our needs and wants. Often, it makes a b-line toward the path of least resistance. Drift is the natural inclination of our thoughts, attitudes, choices, and actions. Left alone to our own devices, we will sway back and forth, overcome by the cares and demands of this world.
Very rarely, if ever, do any of us wreck our lives on purpose or head down roads we know we shouldn't travel on. We drift due to indifference, distractions, carelessness, and small compromises over time. Being so close to the situation, we don't even notice a change in our surroundings.
My day at the beach would have turned out drastically different if, from time to time, I looked back to the shore to make sure I could see my girls building sand castles while my wife read her book. Our little spot in the sand was my true north.
When it comes to our faith, Jesus serves as our true north. Dealing with the drift entails keeping our eyes focused on Him regardless of the circumstances that come our way. Focus involves more than just paying attention. It entails leaning on God and displaying enduring dependence when the waves of this world attempt to knock us down and take us under.
Our struggles end in one of two ways, by either indulging or resisting. The way out isn't to satisfy our cravings or even for us to suddenly be ushered out of struggles. The level of temptation we face does not determine God's faithfulness.
We tend to define God's faithfulness by how He gets us out. But, we see His faithfulness when we depend on Him to get us through. Instead of looking for Him to prove His faithfulness, we need to learn to rely upon it and tune our ears to the Holy Spirit directing us in His ways.
What direction do your thoughts, attitudes, choices, and actions head toward when left on their own? How would you describe your "drift"?
God, may I pay attention to the condition of my heart. I will focus on Your faithfulness when everything in me wants to give in or give up. I will rely on Your strength and power to deal with my struggles in a way that brings You honor and displays trust. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.