This past week I added another year to my age brings me to within touch of 60 years old. It is hard to believe that I am close to having lived six decades. It is amazing at how quickly time passes us by if we let it. It is especially a shame when this reflects our walk with Jesus.
One of the realities of aging is that at a certain point you begin to realize that there are things in life that you can no longer do. Whether you accept it or not there will come a time when you crest the hill of physical development and begin down the other side. We often refer to that as “being over the hill.” The challenge is not to get to that point and look back with regret over the missed opportunities.
I believe that the writer of Hebrews understood this. He writes to these believers and to us, “Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity” (Hebrews 6:1a) Spiritual complacency has to be one of the greatest obstacles for the follower of Jesus. It identifies our disposition towards contentment and our lack of effort to maintain a state of self-satisfaction. The challenge is that spiritual complacency robs us of spiritual growth and from having any spiritual impact. The stern words in our verse remind us that there is no such time for “cruising.”
What we need to grasp is that there is no such place as “I have arrived” in my spiritual journey this side of glory. The Apostle Paul understood this, “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.” (Philippians 3:12)
The other day I was reflecting on what the Lord has allowed us to do through our church site. Today, overlooking the site it is hard to imagine that the lot was home to a vandalized house. The land was covered with scotch bloom, black berries and littered with all kinds of accumulated trash from the years. And just as the transformation did not happen by itself, we are reminded that our spiritual development requires personal investment and sacrifice.
Looking back over the almost 39 years since Christ found me, I am thankful for the spiritual development in my life. I am reminded of the Lord’s unwanted interventions in my life that disrupted my spiritual complacency. The result is today I am able to look back and celebrate what the Lord has done. It also motivates me to make my time count.
It is a great time, entering the New Year, to consider whether we have allowed our spiritual progress to stagnate. It is then that we can make the changes that will make time count. “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15–16 ESV ) Yes, others are counting on us! So, what are your waiting for?
-Pastor Joe Parkinson