Hear the Story

Author, Eric Sandras, tells a story we need to hear. It all happened on one of the early expeditions to the North Pole. In that "top of the earth" snow-white region, it is very important to stay on course. Without landmarks of any kind in this white wasteland, the explorers had to trust their instruments.

So, every hour they stopped to take readings and chart their progress. However, within a few hours out of camp they noticed a strange phenomenon. When they stopped and took readings the instruments indicated they had been moving toward the pole, but they were actually farther away.

Thinking the reading was a fluke, they continued to move forward. The next reading had them still farther away from their goal. Regardless of their determination to stay on track and their speed in the "right" direction, they were getting farther and farther from the Pole.

How could this happen? Was it someone's version of an elaborate practical joke? Perhaps they were in a North Pole extension of the Bermuda Triangle?

Finally, they discovered that some distance back they had moved onto an enormous iceberg that was drifting south faster than they were walking north. They were doing everything right, but moving in the wrong direction.

That same thing can happen to our faith journey. Can we get so busy doing things, the right things, and still find our faith to be weak and flabby and filled with cynicism? How about it? Check your instruments? Where do you stand?

Find the Story

Ask around. "Is there a difference between activity and progress?" How can we know we are growing — that we are being transformed into the image of Jesus? What roadblocks get in our way? What activities get in our way?

Ask God to open your eyes. Take time to listen as others share their stories. Just listen.

Be the Story

Are you living the right story? Are you in his story or do you spend your time trying to talk God into being in your story? Are you, in fact, living the wrong story?

Regardless of your current condition, make this the time in your life for God's story to come alive in you. Let this be his time and his year.

Are you living the right story?
But, be careful. It's easy to convince ourselves, as Eric Sandras says, "that the activities we participate in are helping us climb higher and higher when in reality, the best they might be doing is keeping us in the same place."

Remember, the ultimate goal is not more Bible study, more prayer, and more evangelism. We must not measure our success as Christians by ministry activity, or busyness, or our commitment to religious things. Becoming more like Jesus doesn't happen in retreat. It happens outside the walls of church. The context is not Sunday, but Monday-Saturday in the middle of our drifting searching culture. It's possible to talk about growth without even realizing we are adrift, out of context, on an iceberg of church activity.

Are you walking to get somewhere or just walking for a workout?

The question for all of us is: "Am I more like Jesus now than I was last year at this time?

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at God's right hand in the place of honor and power. (Colossians 3:1 NLT)