Summer Projects and Jumping in the Lake
Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. Hebrews 2:1
This summer, my son and I worked on several physically demanding yard projects. We’re fortunate enough to live on the lake though, so after we were done working, we’d jump in to cool off. We’d be hot, sweaty, and dirty and the lake was the answer to all those problems. My favorite job was riprapping (piling rocks) on our shoreline. This involved lifting and moving a lot of heavy rock, but we were pulling rocks out of waist deep water. Every trip for more rock meant another dip in the lake. It was hard work, but we never got overheated because we had a source of continual renewal. It would have been absurd to jump in the lake only once at the beginning of the summer and expect that would keep us going. No, returning to the lake was something we had to do repeatedly to enjoy its effects.
This is an apt metaphor to describe our need for church and – for the one struggling with addiction – recovery meetings. Growing up, we went to church a lot. I used to wonder why we went so often. Why did we need church every week? Why does the alcoholic go to weekly meetings?
In today’s passage, the writer of Hebrews provided some insight into this question. In it, he said that we must pay close attention to God’s teachings, lest we drift away. He knew that it is our nature to commit to following God, but then gradually drift back towards following ourselves. He knew that we needed frequent reminding of our commitment. As those who are seeking faith and recovery, we must regularly invest time in God’s word and we must meet with others who’re doing the same. In doing so, we encourage each other to renew our commitment, refocusing our lives in the direction we must go.
It would be absurd for the struggling alcoholic to go to one recovery meeting a year, hoping that would make him sober. When he’s really struggling, he may need one meeting a day. Or, he may need to go to inpatient treatment, which is basically like living at a meeting. Likewise, it would be absurd for the Christian to read the Bible or go to church once a year and call it good. No, just like jumping in the lake, if we want to appreciate its effects, we must immerse ourselves in God’s word regularly, surrounding ourselves with others who’re doing the same. It’s our nature to drift away. So, if we desire to stay on track, we must remind ourselves regularly of where we truly want to go.