My boys and I were enjoying our visit to the Klondike Gold Rush International Historical Park in Seattle, Washington. We had been to Juneau and Skagway, Alaska, on this trip, and we had driven over the White Pass and on into Whitehorse, in the Yukon Territories of Canada, and it was fascinating to read about the history of all of these places. The only problem was that there was so much information and so little time! We had to be back to the ferry landing in just two hours! I tried to keep an eye on my boys, but with all of this wonderful information, it was very easy for me to temporarily forget about them!
One display really fascinated me. Other than the fact that it related to the Klondike, I don’t even remember what it was about; but as I read it, you guessed it, I lost track of the whereabouts of my sons. I quickly scanned my surroundings. No kids! Where could they have gone???
Fortunately the museum had only two floors, so I put on my Sherlock Holmes’ hat and set out on the hunt. My first stop was the next room, but they weren’t there. That’s when I vaguely remembered hearing them say something to me as I had been attentively devouring that last exhibit. But with my selective hearing being more “on” than “off”, I couldn’t remember what it was! Come on brain! Work!
In the distance I could just hear a woman’s voice. She was saying something about-gold panning! GOLD PANNING! That’s where my sons were! And sure enough, when I entered the room that housed the gold panning display, I found them.
So where had I gone wrong?
I had been distracted from my task of keeping an eye on my boys, and as a result, I had lost track of them. Too often in life we get side-tracked by the distractions of this world, and we take our attention away from the One who really matters the most. “All I want is for you to be able to develop a way of life in which you can spend plenty of time together with the Master without a lot of distractions.” (1 Cor 7:35 The Message)
It is at those times that we find ourselves entangled in misery, frustration, and quite possibly, in sin; and it is at those times that we need to remember that we are followers of Christ. Following means we are not in the lead. Jesus is and we are to stay focused on Him! “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Mark 8:34-35 NIV)
If we truly realized what Jesus underwent on our behalf-the whippings, the lashes, the bruises, the wounds, the spikes, the crucifixion, his death by asphyxiation-we would be unable to forget His love for us. We would be unable to even let ourselves be tempted! “All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.” (2 Cor 4:15 NIV)
The void in us can only be completely eradicated if we keep our focus on Jesus. No distractions, no letting something else take our attention away from the One who really matters to us. Only then will we be filled to the brim, only then will we experience His victory in our lives.
“Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed – that exhilarating finish in and with God – he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls! In this all-out match against sin, others have suffered far worse than you, to say nothing of what Jesus went through – all that bloodshed! So don’t feel sorry for yourselves.’ (Heb 12:2-5 The Message)
P. S. Have you seen my kids? I got side-tracked again! Will I ever learn?
(To access the entire “Filling the Void” devotional series, please click here.)