“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” [Hebrews 12:1–2]
In life, we are bombarded daily by many, many distractions. Some are awful. We get peeved when the people don’t walk on the express lane of the escalator. We overhear vulgar talk by our classmates in school. We receive bad news about the world around us, our studies and so on.
Some seem good but in reality turn us away from Christ. The desire to do better in our studies to the extent we forsake church. The desire to spend time with others to make life meaningful (Amen!). The desperate need to make more money.
Here’s the litmus test for any event A, whether I sounds good or not: does A point us to ourselves or to Christ? Equivalently, does A build others up or tear them down?
Growing close to peers is an awesome thing, but it’s too much if we grow close to them at the expense of our closeness with God. And if that is the case, we should cast aside these good desires. We should cast them to God to remove the distracting bits and refine these desires to point us to Him. In any thing in life, our goal is to fix our eyes on our Lord. To follow Him in His ways, because of His amazing grace that revolutionized our lives.
A unique axiom in the Bible is that because God is a good God, He gives good gifts. In fact, because He is maximally good, He only gives us the best. This means we either get what we want or something better.
For me, I’ve always had plans for night cycling this year. Is that a good desire? Yes! Yet, when God refrains it from coming to pass, it’s because He’s setting me up for an even more amazing night cycling session in the future!
Another thing is getting involved in romance. Yes, since mid-2016 I have thought and considered romance in my life. Here’s my conclusion. I may be ready but God has explicitly told me to wait, on many occasions. Is romance good? Yes! It’s in fact such a rich expression of God’s love through a boy’s and a girl’s intense care and concern for each other. Yet, God told me to wait. This means that what He has in store in the future is far more amazing than if I get romantically involved now. The wait is worth it, because my God is good and He only gives me the best!
Until then, let’s keep our eyes on Christ and encourage one another to do the same. Let us cast aside any distraction that turns us away from Him. If it means temporarily suspending my emotions, then suspend I shall. If it means killing desires in order to pursue the Greater Desire of Christ, then kill them I shall. Let’s eliminate any distraction.
And keep our eyes on our Lord. Let Him be the centre of all we think, feel and do.
—Joel Kindiak, 13 Dec 2016, 0733H