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Keeping Focused!

May 19, 2016 No Comment

by Paul Zabel

Rev. Paul Zabel

Rev. Paul Zabel

“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in Me should stay in darkness!” (John 12:46)

A father was once attempting to teach his boy how to plow a straight furrow. Finally he turned to him and said, “Son, if you want to plow a straight line you must not rivet your attention on the ground where you are working. Pick out some object across the field, something that is immovable like a tree or a big rock. Keep watching that goal, and plow right toward it.”

There are too many ground-gazers in the world today. With their eyes focused on the things of the earth they never know what abundant living really is. They miss the beauty which is all about them because they never look up. They become too attached to the things of the world. They let the world and the things in it mold and shape them, even to the point that they give in to the ways of the world. And eventually their lives become crooked and warped, without meaning or purpose.

There are others whom we might call pleasure seekers. They are not interested in the narrow way with all of its restrictions. They forget that, to attain great living, the narrow way is the only way they should follow. Instead, they become attracted to other forces around them. They turn a blind eye to the sins committed by others around them, and in so doing are influenced and persuaded to sin themselves. In they end, they discover that they are empty-handed. They have accumulated no real value; the pleasures which they thought they possessed have vanished. There is only one thing left now, a deep heart hunger and a vacuum of the soul which cannot be filled by anything except the righteousness of God.

Then there are those who know and heed the words recorded for us in the pages of Holy Scripture that we are to live in the world and not of the world. The Apostle Paul puts it eloquently in his letter to the Romans: “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2).

We might call those who heed the Apostle Paul’s advice star-gazers. They are not just idle dreamers but fix their vision upon something constant.

We might call those who heed the Apostle Paul’s advice star-gazers. They are not just idle dreamers but fix their vision upon something constant. They build toward an immovable object. They are led by our Lord Jesus and follow the way of the cross. For great as its disciplines are, greater still is the joy of the journey and the heaven which is ahead. And even though the night should become dark, a light—the Light—shines through the gloom, and that Light keeps leading us on!
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Rev. Paul Zabel is President of the East District of Lutheran Church–Canada.