Once you were far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault. But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don't drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News.
- Colossians 1:21-23a (Adapted from New Living Translation)
How many times have you been shopping with someone in a large store, only to get separated from them. What starts out as a 10 minute jaunt to the store turns into an hour-long scavenger hunt as you walk in around in circles looking for each other. When my children were small, I would tell them, "If you can't see me, you are in the wrong place." I would allow them to venture off a few feet in one direction or another, still within sight of me, and I would keep an eye on them at all times while they tried out their newly-found independence. The toy aisle was their favorite aisle, and they would soon be so busy looking at toys that they forgot to check for me. They would wander around one aisle, sometimes moving around the corner and to the next aisle as they busily looked with wide-eyed wonder at all the toys. In those times when they couldn't see me, I could still see them, and I would call out, "If you can't see me, you're in the wrong place." They would look up, and look around, and then call for me. Then when I answered, they would come back around the corner as I reminded them not to stray out of sight.
I think God is a lot like that. We were once far away from God, having strayed beyond where we could see and hear God, but God has never lost sight of us. Jesus came so that we could know how to find God again - how to move back into the place where we could see and hear God. Like my children in the department store, if we lose sight of God, guess who drifted away? Not God, but us. Sometimes we like to wander around, and we get so caught up in our daily lives that we forget to look for God. God gently calls to us, "If you can't see me, you're in the wrong place. Come back to me." So we turn around and follow the voice of our Lord. The Apostle Paul reminds us to stay connected to God, "Don't drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News." Don't get so tied up in the busy-ness of life that you forget the one who brings true meaning to your life and who helps you live each day. Stay connected to God.
Have you become so wrapped up in your life that you have moved away from God? Hear God saying to you, "Come back to me." Will you answer and call out to God today?
Jan McCoy is associate pastor of First United Methodist Church of Covington. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.