July 30, 2014

Pastoral Nuggets: Chasing Sardines

Brother AaronTake us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes. Song of Solomon 2:15

In this passage of scripture from the Song of Solomon, Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, gives us a poignant reminder that it is usually not the big things in life that cause us problems rather, the little things – the little foxes.   Isn’t it amazing how satan can get us to spend our days chasing the little foxes of our lives?  I believe we all have become experts at majoring on minors. Our lives are filled daily with hundreds of things that seem so important at the moment. Yet, when we judge them against time and eternity we find that they are just little foxes and are of no eternal value or consequence.

I heard a story the other day that illustrates what I am talking about. A couple of years ago a pod of whales beached themselves.  Scientists were intrigued as to why these whales would do this.  So a group of scientists were dispatched to the scene to investigate.  Soon they came to the conclusion that the pod of whales had beached themselves while chasing a school of sardines. The whales had become so preoccupied with chasing and feeding on this school of sardines that they failed to realize the sardines had swam into shallow water and that the tide was going out. Yes, they had been so busy chasing these tiny fish that they completely lost focus of what was really important.

Does this story have a strange familiarity to it?  I’m afraid that we Christians intend to do what is right but somehow wind up chasing sardines.  We mean to set aside time for the reading of God’s Word, prayer, reflection, worship, Spiritual renewal, and for those we love. But somehow, every time we start to do the things that are really important along comes another school of sardines and we’re off again completely losing focus on the things that are really important.

One day the tide of life will go out for each of us.  When that day comes our ability to focus on the things of life that are really important will be greatly improved. I have a strange feeling that on that day careers, fine cars, fine homes, large bank accounts, and fashionable clothing will be suddenly unimportant. On that day only the things of love are going to count.

How sad it would be to watch life’s final tide go out and find yourself beached on eternity’s shore with the realization that you spent your life chasing sardines!  The Apostle Paul said it this way in Colossians 3:2, “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”  He also said in  Philippians 3:13-14, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”  In other words, Paul was saying that he had identified and focused upon the things in his life that really mattered and he wasn’t going to spend his life – chasing sardines!  Have you – or are you wasting your life – chasing sardines?


Brother Aaron

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