The Seattle Mariners were in the middle of a baseball game when it hit, an earthquake. The sportscaster in Seattle King Dome said, "Man, everything is shaking here." Well, the newscast showed the reaction of Seattle star Ken Griffey, Jr.. Even though he is one of baseballs premier players, he suddenly did not have baseball on his mind. He ran over to a spot on the field where he could see his family in the stands - it wasn't baseball he was thinking of all of a sudden. He was motioning to his family to get out of that stadium, now!, and to start driving home. It reminded me of that night when an earthquake hit that third game of the 1989 World Series in San Francisco, and the remark the San Francisco catcher made. Even in the midst of a World Series dream coming true, speaking of the quake he simply said, "Sure does change your priorities, doesn't it?"
Well, I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "A Whole Lot Of Shaking Going On."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Acts 27. Now, those baseball players had it right, when things are shaky it's time to remember what really matters. It happened to the great spiritual ambassador, Paul, in this word for today from Acts 27:18-20. Paul is a prisoner on his way to Rome for trial and here is a storm that shook up everything. Including everyone's priorities. Verse 18, "We took such a violent battering from the storm that the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard. On the third day, they threw the ship's tackle overboard with their own hands. When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved." Look at how this is changing their priorities. I mean, things they would have never considered getting rid of before, they're throwing overboard.
It's amazing how life's storms, quakes, make things that once looked so important, suddenly seem pretty consequential. And, now, things that we haven't been paying much attention to suddenly very important. Verse 22, Paul is talking to the people onboard and he says, "I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. Last night an angel of the God whose I am, and whom I serve stood beside me and said, 'Do not be afraid Paul, you must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you." Well, with everything shaking, God reminded Paul of what really mattered, the people around him and the mission God had given him.
Now, maybe it's one of those earthquake or storm times for you? God wants to use this time, not to ruin you but to re-focus you on the things that really matter, like your family who you may have been unintentionally neglecting because of all the demands on you. The quake is meant to bring you back into their lives. Or it could be that God is trying to re-focus you on a life's mission, or on a life's work that He wants you doing for Him. Maybe your life's been filling up with less important things. The shaking could be to drive you back to Jesus. You've gotten away haven't you? He's urging you back to the safety and the love of His arms.
Or perhaps you've just been neglecting your relationship with Him? Not doing anything against Him, but, not spending much time with Him either. The quake is His way of driving you back to depending on Him, the place where you can really experience His love and His total power. Like the baseball player said, in times when everything is shaking, "Sure do change your priorities don't they?"
Well, don't miss the message in the shake-up. It's time to stop playing the game for a little while, and start taking care again, of the things that really matter.