Mark 4:5-6 (NKJV)
“Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away.”
Were you ever looking forward to trying something new that could solve all your problems only to find out that it was harder than it looked? Have you ever had a coach get you so motivated that you pushed yourself in the game till the other team pulled ahead? Maybe it was just joining a group that you thought was exciting, but you quickly got bored and lost interest?
Life is filled with these moments where motivation and good intentions start out strong only to quickly dissolve when things get tough. Sometimes it may not even be a big obstacle, but rather a convenient reason to stop. We use the excuses that we would ridicule others for like, “I’m hot”, “I’m tired”, or the ever popular “I’m bored.”
In many ways this could go back to a need to be entertained, to be part of the group, or just wanting to succeed. It is never a pleasant feeling when you feel lost or left out and you are searching for your place in this world. When this happens, we have two choices. We can either languish where we are or find that solution to all your problems.
Over the years I have followed paths that have taken me in directions I really didn’t plan to go and ending up where I didn’t want to be, but it never started out that way. We all have hopes and dreams, but too often we are not sure how to get there or we become impatient that it is taking so long to work out for us.
It can be like going to the big game you’ve looked forward to. You run through the gates to find your seats and after you drag yourself up the steep steps to where they are and you can barely see the field. The excitement fades as the sound echoes through the speakers, but you really can’t hear what they are saying or what is going on. Then the sun comes out and you have no place to hide from it. So, what do you do? Put up with it while complaining the whole time or just give up and go home?
In life we have climbed those steps or hiked to the top of our mountain to peer off into the distance. We can see the possibilities, but they seem so far off. We can even throw together a plan to reach those goals only to not get any closer or your hard work crumbles away. The roads that we travel are rarely predictable because we can see the far off destinations but we don’t know which ones it will lead to.
Take a moment to visualize your future and look off into the distance. Tell me what you see. I have done this many times and could see a realm of possibilities. I was flying high when I went for a promotion, checked out that dream house I’ve always wanted, or saw a person I really wanted to meet. Then each time I was passed over, took a peek at the price tag, or got the cold shoulder I was knocked back down to the ground.
I had to make a choice on whether I wanted to sit there in the hot sun staring off into the distance and actually building something positive. My direction and attitude did not change till I turned back to Christ and returned to His word. It helped me climb back in the boat and sail to shore where I was able to find some stable ground again. I had to make sure I did not stray too far so I didn’t trip or run the risk of falling flat on my face.
I realized I had forgotten much of the Lord’s guidance that I learned over the years and felt like the seed in the opening scripture and Mark 4:16-17 that fell on stony ground. “These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble.”
There were so many consequences I never really thought about what brought that edge of uncertain anxiety or to feel like I was aimlessly roaming through life. Not going to church to fellowship and renew my soul, not reading my Bible to find the guidance that I needed, and not following the example Christ gave me for a better life. All this made it seem like my feet were sinking and stuck in wet sand.
Too many of us have been here, wondering what to do next and ready to give up. We let our circumstances overwhelm us and weigh us down. In Mathew 7:24-25 we find a good place to start. “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.”
In Christ we find that stable rock that we can cling to first to stop us from sinking. We can then use His strength to keep going and climb out onto His steady surface for a chance at something better. Then as we lie there catching our breath, thank Him for being there. As our heart rate and breathing return to normal, pray for guidance to find the answers you are searching for.
So, stop sitting way up in the cheap seats baking in the sun and staring at a distant future you don’t know how to reach. Join me on Christ’s stable rock and build the life you were meant to live walking with our Lord. It was not till I did this that my life began to change and now I thank God daily for all that He has given me. Now also please enjoy part II of “The Arena.”
THE ARENA (PART II)
Lord, the steps that rise before me are like a mountain I must climb,
I am still not sure where I’m going or at the top what I will find.
I have more questions than I have answers at least ahead I see a light,
But as I follow those around me, how do I know that this way is right?
I can see so many things in front of me that are far off in the distance,
I’m getting tired trying to reach them, then giving up without resistance.
There is a clear blue sky all around me and the sun high overhead,
The heat is getting hard to fathom and deepens my sense of dread.
My child, right now you may be feeling aimless only looking on the outside,
So you must change your focus from there to what you will find inside.
There are times when you may think that you know which way to go,
But you have no roots to hold you in place when life’s adversities flow.
You need to return to the message that is found inside my Word,
There you’ll find the stable rock to build on and guidance to be heard.
You can use my anchor so you don’t drift back to where you’ve been,
I have great plans for your life if your belief comes from deep within.
Simple Faith Christian