Thursday, December 07, 2006

Isaiah 2:12-22; Psalm 18:1-20; 1 Thessalonians 3:1-13; Luke 20:27-40

What drives you? My freshman year of college was a whirlwind of indecision. I fluttered between about seven different majors. There was Psychology, Biology, Philosophy, Russian History, Religion, Teaching, and Computer Science. In the end I decided that I would love all of those options, but settled on Computer Science.

I didn’t settle on Computer Science because I liked computers, not even because I thought it would be an easy major. I chose it because it would be the one degree where I could make a lot of money. I fully intended to work in the computer industry for a few years until I had enough money to leave and pursue what I really wanted to do.

What ended up happening is completely different. I started living the lifestyle of the industry. I was the computer geek and “gadget boy” as my mother-in-law calls me. I always wanted the latest and greatest toy. While I’m not rich, I certainly bought into the lifestyle that having just a little more money would make my life work out.

Before I knew it I needed not only to be accepted, but to be the best at what I did. I would turn to the Internet or books for advice, but I would rarely turn to my co-workers or other people. I was focused and driven toward being right and being accepted by those around me. More than anything I wanted to fit in.

These readings from Isaiah and Psalms bring some real hope for someone like me. “Quit scraping and fawning over mere humans, so full of themselves, so full of hot air! Can’t you see there’s nothing to them?” (Isaiah 2:22, The Message.) I’ve recognized that it’s time to quit trying to fit in with the rest of us humans. It’s time to stop chasing after “all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures.” (Isaiah 2:16, King James Version.)

After our mission trip to Montana and the following trip to Mississippi, God brought a big change in my outlook on life. My passions have changed, and I’ve let go of my drive to fit in and be accepted by those around me. I’ve stopped seeing my life as one big competition.

You know what I’m asking, what really gets your blood boiling and your heart pounding? As we come to the end of the year where is your passion focused? Is it time to have a conversation with God and find his focus for our lives?

- Tom Leary

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