Once upon a time the government had a vast scrap yard in the middle of a desert. Congress said someone may steal from it at night, so they created a night watchman position (GS-04) and hired a person for the job.
Then Congress said, "How can the watchman do his job without instruction?" So they created a planning position and hired two people: one person to write the instructions (GS-12) and another person to do time studies (GS-11).
Then Congress said, "How will we know the night watchman is doing the tasks correctly?" So they created a Quality Control position and hired two people, one (GS-09) to do the studies and another (GS-11) to write the reports.
Then Congress said, "How are these people going to get paid?" So they created the following positions — a time keeper (GS-09) and a payroll officer (GS-11) — and hired two more people.
Then Congress said, "Who will be responsible for all of these people?" So they created an administrative position and hired three people: an Admin. Officer (GM-13), an Assistant Admin. Officer (GS-13) and a Legal Secretary (GS-08).
Then Congress said, "We have had this command in operation for one year and we are $18,000 over budget so we must cut back our cost." So they laid off the night watchman.
At the very core of our Christianity is our relationship with God. We want to improve that relationship, and so we look around for things that will help. We attend lectureships and workshops and retreats. We get excited about bringing in the latest "expert" on some aspect of Christianity. We listen to tapes and we read books. And if we're not careful, our Christianity can become focused on all those things and, ironically, the one thing which may get neglected in the process is our relationship with God.
Those things are not necessarily bad. In fact, they can serve a wonderful purpose. But, we need to be careful not to forget why we started doing all those things in the first place.
I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish,that I may gain Christ and be found in him. (Philippians 3:8-9a NIV)
May your desire to know Christ and to be found in him be at the center of all that you do.