Whatever your emotions concerning this yearly event, back to school time is now upon us. It’s the time to see old friends and maybe a few new faces. It’s time to use your new notebooks, pencils, pens and other school supplies and do homework. It’s time to start up your extra-curricular activities again. Overall, it’s time to start getting back into your school-year routine.
In general, we like to stay busy. When thinking about starting your school-year routine, how busy will you be? How many things will occupy your time and mind? Will you be playing sports or cheering the teams on? Will you be in an academic organization? Maybe you’re in the band, on the yearbook staff, you have an after-school job, etc. Maybe you even help serve at church by teaching a children’s Bible class or attending the nursery on top of everything else.
It’s so easy to focus on the things that are right in front of us, demanding our time and attention. Staying busy with all sorts of activities (whether they be service related or something else) is the way the world works and there’s nothing wrong with these sorts of activities. However, we must be careful what becomes the most significant to us. We, sisters, are called to a higher purpose. We serve a God who demands that we be different from the world.
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world- the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions- is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” – 1 John 1:15
I (like many of you) was involved in many organizations in high school. One of those things was basketball. I vividly remember the first day of basketball practice one season. We had a new coach who started a speech that day by saying this: “Basketball had better be the number one thing in your life, or you should just leave the gym right now. Any questions?”
This statement bugged me, because I knew I should strive to put God first, no matter what. So, what did I do? I timidly raised my hand and told him that. I was afraid he’d make me leave the gym right then and there and I immediately regretted that I’d said anything. But what did he do? He stared at me for a second, and then said, “Ok, basketball better be right behind God, then.”
Whoa, I was relieved. I don’t tell that story to tell you how good I am. I have struggled many times trying to make sure God is actually placed above all else. It’s one thing to profess Jesus’ name and wear the title of Christian, but to always remember who God is and what He has done for us is another. We are human and we fall short. Thankfully, His grace covers those that are saved in Him (Rom. 3:23, Eph. 2:8).
When we let things become more important to us than God, with or without meaning to, those things become idols to us. God said to the Israelites inLeviticus 19:4 “Do not turn to idols…I am the Lord your God.”
So, what must we do to stay away from idols? “But you, beloved, build yourselves up in your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life” (Jude 1:20). Stay close to God, read His word every day and pray without ceasing! (1 Thess. 5:17)