After many years, I have just this spring begun watching the Star Wars movies thanks to Paul Docktor. We started a couple months ago with the originals, and just this weekend finished Episode I- The Phantom Menace. My favorite scene, besides always trying to translate what Jar Jar Binks was saying, was the Pod racing. They’re flying through the air, passing through archways, making sharp turns, and doing their best to avoid contact with other Pods which may throw them off course. And yet, in the final stretch, Anakin is pushed off the course, almost destroying his chances at victory. So, after all of that Star Wars regaling that you certainly did not ask for, let’s get to the point.
We get off track. “This week, I’m going to wake up every morning and run” “I’m going to run on Monday’s, Wednesday’s and Friday’s,” “I should sleep.” Sound familiar? Personal experience lets me know that this is a very common phenomenon, and it is almost always a progression. It’s a missed day here, or a busy week there, and it’s not just exercise! Maybe you’re trying to spend more time with your kids daily, perhaps you’re working on keeping your house clean, or maybe it’s keeping work at the office, no matter what it is, it’s easy to get distracted, and slide back into old habits. So, how do you get back? Let’s take a look.
The Israelites are notorious for getting off track, just read chapter 9 and remember the many times that they found themselves not about the Lord’s business! This is the first step in getting back on track; remembering the past. When the Israelites found themselves struggling for direction after losing their way, the go back to what they know about God, and what He has done for them. When’s the last time you did this? Spend some time alone or with your spouse simply remember the past. When we take the time to do so, we often realized why we wanted to start that “thing” in the first place, and often the re-focusing on the why helps us figure out the “what.” Then, at the very end of chapter 9, we see the Israelites do something specific, they pen an agreement and sign their names to it.
Chapter 10 shines light to what exactly that document entails; a reaffirmation of obedience to the Law long ago given to Moses. I appreciate how granular this document is, it has specific actions that can be taken to help guide the Israelites back where they need to be. Most importantly, these are simply restatements of Scripture, not self-help wisdom. Have you laid out a plan to accomplish your goal? If not you’ll find yourself lacking direction, and without it, your destination will be backwards.
This naturally applies to each one of our spiritual walks as well. We all struggle with when it comes to sticking to things, it’s very important not to be discouraged when it happens though. Paul knew this happened, that’s why he told the Hebrews to, “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:12-13 ESV)
So, if you find yourself derailing this week, take a moment and:
· Remember what God has done in your life (Chapter 9)
· Decide on steps towards your goal (Chapter 10)
· Do it! (Genesis-Revelation)
~ Kramer Farney