January 24, 2024
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Well, I watched three of our children run on this track that they call "high school senior." Oh we know about the disease. It's a creeping disease called senioritis. I've seen it for years with other teenagers, and then finally we got to watch it in our own home. It begins with the sense of "Okay, I'm a senior now! High school is my past. I don't care about high school any more even though I have another year." At best a senior just sort of slacks off until graduation. Or at worst, he or she becomes irresponsible and maybe even destructive. Senioritis? It doesn't bring out the best in anybody at any age.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Don't Stop Before the Finish Line."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Jeremiah 29. The Jews are no longer in their homeland of Judah. They've been carried away into captivity in Babylon. Here's the situation where it would be very easy for them to have spiritual senioritis, because they know that they will one day return to their native country. They know God has them in Babylon for their disobedience. They kind of live in-between Babylon and returning to Israel.
They could be saying, "Hey, who cares about Babylon? Put it on cruise control. We're not here for long. We're going home in a little while. What we do here doesn't matter." Listen to God's advice for them in Jeremiah 29:5, probably surprising advice for them. "Build houses and settle down." I can hear them going, "Here? We're just living in-between."
He says, "Build houses, settle down, plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters. Find wives for your sons. Give your daughters in marriage so they, too, may have sons and daughters. Increase in number. Do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers you will prosper."
Seems like God's saying, "Make something of this time, guys. Don't have senioritis and act like it doesn't matter." It's like old Caleb in the Old Testament. Eighty-five years old and he's still not going to quit. He says, "Lord, give me this mountain to conquer!" Boy, there's no senioritis there.
Maybe you're at an age or a situation where you're tempted to put your life on cruise. Maybe you're waiting for the next stage, or you're just waiting for heaven. Well, don't sit there and say, "I don't care much about where I am." God is saying, "I want you to care. I want you to bloom where you're planted, my child. Make this count."
A while back I met an 80-year-old woman. She said to me, "Ron, I was married to the same man for 60 years. He took great care of me." Then she went on to tell me how he had died the previous year. And she said, "It's so easy for me to be bitter, and I could be desperately lonely." But then she said, "You know, this week as I listened to you at this conference, I've decided I'm going to reach out on my own. I'm in this condominium filled with lonely people, and I'm going to go back there and I'm going to start writing notes to those people, and I'm going to bake for them, and I'm going to visit them. I'm going to share God's love with them." She said, "I'm going to start giving my life away."
I said, "Well, you know what? That's what the Bible says about how you find your life by giving it away." She said, "Well, I figured my mother died at the age of 88. So I've got at least eight years to make a difference." I love that! She's going to find her life by giving it away. That is the vaccine for senioritis; for not caring. Get a mission for yourself. You're surrounded by needs. Get some people who need you. That's the best way to find your life.
Wherever you are, look for a mission. Look for an assignment from God. Wake up in the morning and ask, "God, who needs me here?" Don't slow down! Don't hold back! Capture the corner that you're in for Christ. When you're living for Jesus, there's just not a day you can afford to waste.