We must strive to keep the main thing the main thing.
As I walked out of the Rockport, Maine woods to the clearing ahead, the trail yielded unadulterated views of God’s Creation-Porpoise Point. Sitting down next to my wife with our two wiener dogs by our feet, we simply took in the visual gift of God’s creativity with the thundering sounds of ocean waves colliding with the rocks below echoing in our ears. It was then my Grandmother’s words uttered over three decades ago resonated fresh in my mind, “you can’t see the forest for the trees.” While that sentiment fell on deaf ears as a teenager, today, they meant something to me, something worth considering. Of course, we know the premise of such an adage that we can be so involved in something that we lose sight of the bigger picture. Or, in my case, so focused on doing, that I never took the time to step back to enjoy and appreciate the fruit of the labor.
When the Corona virus pandemic invaded our lives over seven months ago, I went to work on ways to excite our disconnected congregation and engage our hurting community. I filled my schedule each day, every minute accounted for, with service to my Father, leading our congregation and community to make a difference in lives. To date, there are well over 30 news media stories, two magazine articles, a sandwich named after our church, and we even graced the front page of two newspapers, all documenting and recognizing the difference that we made through this pandemic. And, it was still not enough; I wanted to do more. But my body had different plans, so I was forced into a three-month absence to focus on my health. That is what brought me to Maine, a chance to get away. And, ironically enough, to literally walk through the woods so that I could see the trees.
Sitting on the bench overlooking this beautiful view, it dawned on me, I have been so busy that I forgot to keep the main thing the main thing. What is the main thing? Jesus Christ. Matthew 6:33 encourages us to “Seek ye’ first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness” (KJV). And our purpose? To love our God. While I am a tad frustrated that it took me this long to walk out of the woods of my life to enjoy my Father’s love, I am grateful for this time. As I took a picture of my wife sitting at the edge of the water on one of the rocks, I quietly thanked God for giving me this time to appreciate His love and another day to enjoy all of His blessings. It really is a Maine thing.
Friend, we live in a crazy busy world where every moment of every day is scheduled. I am confident that you are not an exception, that you are more active than ever before, and if you’re honest, you’ve not taken much, if any, time to simply enjoy your relationship with God and benefit from His blessings.
Question: Am I keeping the main thing the main thing? Is my schedule so full of stuff that I am not taking the time to enjoy the Savior?
Scripture: “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4, ESV)
Prayer: Father, while you encourage me to serve you passionately, and you honor and bless a solid work ethic, may I take time to enjoy who you are each day. Please help me strike that balance of working for you and spending time with you. You are a good Father and know what is best for me. May I trust your heart more and more each day. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray, amen.