The Current

When we were kids, we’d race down to the beach and hurriedly set our things on the shore.

We needed the rush of the waves. And when you’re twelve and the rush of the ocean is within arms length, little else matters.

The exact placement of all of our things was completely arbitrary- it was the visibility that was paramount.

We’d set our things on the shore, never really deciding where. Just so long as we could see them. Because our little encampment would serve as a sort of anchor. We needed to be able to see where our belongings were from the waves we were jumping, to know how far we’d strayed.

We’d be tethered this way.

The current, the undertow, even the rip tide, all these things would serve to carry us down the shore. Unbeknownst to us.

I remember the first time we got out of the water after jumping waves for what seemed like a long session. We couldn’t find our things anywhere.

We searched and searched, frantically. “Someone stole our stuff!”

Finally, after what felt like an eternity, we walked ourselves back a hundred yards, and found our belongings.

It blew my mind. How could we have been carried so far without even knowing? Was that even possible?

From then on, I would study where our things were, and keep myself tethered to that encampment. Because, while drift is inevitable, I didn’t want to lose myself entirely in the drift. Or my things.

I never knew how much this little experience would engrain itself upon me, or how important it would become.

In Hebrews 2, the author reminds his readers- “We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away” (verse 1).

The word he uses for “drift” literally means “glide by.” A good translation would be “lest we be carried away by.”

It’s a nautical term, used of oceans and currents and seas.

The author knows that unless we tether ourselves to Christ, through intentional, purposeful attentiveness, we will be carried away.

Carried away by culture.

Carried away by advice from friends.

Carried away by feelings.

Carried away by anything other than Him.

We are in an ocean. And we are going against the current.
And one day we will cross sides. And we will have a rest from all this struggle.

But until then, we must learn to daily align ourselves with God through His Word. And this doesn’t come easily, or on its own. It requires deliberate pursuit and attentiveness.

“How shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation?”
(Hebrews 2:3).

We never grow closer to God when we just live life. It requires deliberate pursuit and attentiveness.

Daily quiet times, intentional sessions alone with God, gathering together with other likeminded people.

If we don’t pay close attention to where we are, by using an unchanging reference point, we will get caught in the drift.

Before long we won’t recognize the place we’ve ended up. Or the people we’ve become along the way.

“So let us throw off everything that hinders, and the sin that so easily entangles… and let us fix our eyes on Jesus…”

(Hebrews 12:1-2).

Amen.

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