May 26, 2011
I was on vacation last week and had the privilege of witnessing one of the coolest and most hilarious sights ever. We were at a Myrtle Beach high-rise with a “lazy river” where you could leisurely ride around on an inner tube. Well, my 10 y.o., GiGi, decorated a little turtle and entered “Kevin” in the turtle race in the lazy river. Twelve noon was post time. The activities director dumped about 50 decorated plastic turtles into the river … and the race was on!
The excitement of the kids was so infectious that many of us parents got caught up in the “for all the marbles” turtle race on this muggy, 93-degree day. Even innocent bystanders, the people with no turtles in the race, were excited and interested in the outcome. People were hootin’ and cheerin’, running around the river to see where their turtle was … it was hilarious. I actually shouted to another excited father, “O baby, competition, you gotta love it!”
I’ve loved sports, ever since I could remember. Sports have clear goals, structure, expectations, excitement, winning, second and third chances, attention, escape from reality, rewards, measurable advancement, teamwork, camaraderie, and so much more if you really excel at sports. I was blessed to have many successful and exciting experiences in athletics.
But you see, even though sports were a positive activity in many ways for me, I also developed a dependency, an addiction, for them. I turned to them when I felt low, insecure, lonely, inadequate in another area, or when I was confused or overwhelmed, especially socially. Sports brought me relief from my discomfort. But unbeknownst to me, this really stunted my spiritual growth, because I should have been turning to God and His Holy Bible instead.
God wants you to be all His. Once you Believe in Christ as your Savior, and then Receive the invitation from God to have an eternal relationship with Him, He works constantly to wean you off all other dependencies. A big part of Becoming a real disciple of Christ is letting your security rest in Him alone … not in other things, people, or circumstances.
Today, reflect on some positive or stress-relieving activities in your life. Have you started to rely too much on them? Activities like work, food, hobbies? Or your spouse, kids, intellect, problem-solving skills? Yes, the list is endless. Do you turn to them before you turn to God? Turn to Him first today. He forms the foundation of your happiness first and then uses the other activities to provide satisfaction and fulfillment to help you grow.
Dear Father, I thank You for all that I have. I thank You for the security You provide for my life. Day by day, this physical world becomes a more frightening place, such an insecure place. I accept You as my God and my Savior. But I humbly admit to You that I am not yet weaned from other dependencies. Help me let go of them as I grasp more firmly to You. I pray this in the name the one who depended solely on You, Jesus Christ – and all God’s children say, AMEN!
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me. And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.