I LOVE soft pretzels.
I really really LOVE soft pretzels, and baseball stadiums have great soft pretzels. One summer my family and I went to a Cardinals game, and I got an amazing pretzel. I remember sitting with it in my lap, perfectly content to just look at it and enjoy it’s beauty. As I was marveling at the wonder of this delicious treat, the crowd started going wild. Everyone was standing up and screaming. I looked to my brother and, with a mouthful of pretzel, asked him what happened. He said that Kolton Wong had just hit a home run…and I had missed it! I had missed the one thing I came to the stadium to see! I didn’t spend two and half hours in the car with my family (who I love…really) to eat a soft pretzel. I traveled to see the Cardinals play and ended up staring at a pretzel while something exciting was happening out on the field.
Distractions happen. In fact, I’m sure we’ve all had moments when distractions have crept in and taken things from us…important things that we wanted and needed to experience.
Over the last several weeks at Compass we have been singing the song One Thing by Hillsong Worship. If you haven’t heard it before, I encourage you check it out here. It’s all about being in pursuit of Jesus and making him the most important part of our lives. When we sing the words on a Sunday morning it might be easy to get caught up in the tune or rhythm of the song, and we might miss the gravity of the words we’re singing. The lyrics of the chorus are about how nothing in our lives means anything unless Jesus is the most important thing in our lives. When I was reading Bible the other day, I came across a verse that perfectly sums up this song:
I ask only one thing from the Lord. This is what I want: Let me live in the Lord’s house all my life. Let me see the Lord’s beauty and look with my own eyes at his Temple.
The opening of this verse, “I ask only one thing from the Lord,” sets everything up so well. It perfectly encapsulates the theme of what we sing on Sunday mornings. A lot of us might follow up that line with, “This is what I want: more money.” Or, “This is what I want: a better job. This is what I want: a soft pretzel.” But we keep reading and it says, “This is what I want: Let me live in the Lord’s house all my life.” Simply put, let me be close to Jesus forever.
Back to the stadium. What if we skipped the pretzel? What if we only cared about witnessing the game? What if all we cared about was being close to God and witnessing his presence in our lives? We would be a part of the excitement. We would see every home run. We get to experience the main event. The baseball players down on the field will play a fantastic game regardless of how many nachos we eat. The difference when we don’t allow ourselves to get distracted by other things is that we don’t miss any of the action by not fully paying attention to the game. The same is true in our relationship with God. He is doing miraculous and wonderful things in our lives every single day! But are we noticing?
Do our distractions cause us to take our eyes off of him?
I don’t know about you, but I want to be front and center when it comes to following Christ. I want to be close enough to see with my own eyes what he’s doing in my life. I don’t want to see from the second, third, or fourth row. I want to witness him up close, because if he really is my “one thing” in life, I am free and can leave everything else in pursuit of him.
A question I sometimes check up on myself with is this: Am I the one noticing what God is doing in my life, or are other people reminding me? If other people are pointing out God’s faithfulness in my life then I haven’t been paying attention. If other people are reminding me that God is for me and doing great things for me then there has been a shift, and I need to trim away the distractions and make sure he is my one thing.
Are you the one noticing what God is doing in your life or are other people reminding you? What distractions routinely get in your way? Is there anything holding you back from being in full and focused pursuit of God?