Monday, January 30, 2017
Download MP3 (right click to save)
The power was out this morning when some of our neighbors woke up. In fact, several hundred customers were without electricity. Oh, it wasn't the power company's fault. It was the fault of a driver who ran his car into an electric pole. Oh, not on purpose, of course. See it was a grandfather returning from an all-night hunting expedition with his grandson. Unfortunately, his body didn't want to wait until it got home to sleep. So the driver fell asleep at the wheel. Now, he was injured, his car was damaged, and lots of folks had no power.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "Asleep At the Wheel."
It's never good for the person who's driving to fall asleep at the wheel, whether it's someone driving a car, or a family, or a business, or an organization, or a ministry. When you're supposed to be driving and you're sleeping instead, people can get hurt, damage can be done, and lives can be disrupted.
Whether you realize it or not, you may very well be in the driver's seat. You certainly are responsible for the wheel if you have children, or employees, or people looking to you, or you're in a position of responsibility or influence. And you can't afford to fall asleep at the wheel.
In Ezekiel 34, beginning in verse 2, our word for today from the Word of God, God reveals how He feels about those who have leadership but who are neglecting the people they should be caring for. The "driver" in this case is described as a "shepherd"; those who should have been leading God's ancient people. What God says about them all too often applies to some of us who should be shepherding the lives that He's entrusted to us.
Here's what God says, "Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves. Should not the shepherds take care of the flock? You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. They were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for the wild animals."
I think we can assume from this that God is watching how you're caring for the people He's entrusted to you. And if you're busy, it may be that you are asleep to their needs-to their wandering. It's all too easy to be off conquering the world somewhere, totally oblivious to the tragedy of everything falling apart back at home base; to be avoiding the hard work of making it work at home. You can be so immersed in the pursuit of your agenda and your goals (maybe even noble goals) that you can entirely miss or entirely ignore what's happening to the people you're supposed to be giving direction to. Until one day there's an explosion, a disaster, a breakdown, or it just runs into a pole. The car hits a wall, you're injured, there's damage, or the lights are going out for some people who really need you.
The book of Proverbs says that "a king must give constant attention to those who are under him for the crown is not forever" and it goes on to say "do not forget to give attention to your herds." That could be a family; that can be people you minister to. It is people over whom you have influence or leadership and it is so important that you stay alert to their needs on the way to that goal.
It's time to wake up to the needs you've been neglecting, to the silent or maybe not-so-silent cries of the people who really need you. You've got to wake up before there's a crash.