Thursday, February 1, 2018
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Our family of five voted - and the vote was four to one. I lost. The issue was whether or not we would get a pet. See, I grew up in an apartment and the only pet we ever had were like...well, we had some cockroaches. But I went along with the vote. We started down Pet Avenue by getting a gerbil and I took a liking to him. There's something a little strange, though, about those furry little guys. If you could interview a gerbil, let's say, only I would even think of that, and ask what he was anticipating for today, he'd say, "Well, the same as yesterday and same as the day before." "Well, what's that?" "The wheel." And so Mr. Gerbil climbs on his wheel and starts running. Come back later, he's still running on the wheel. I don't think he realizes what's going on. Well, there's a whole lot of activity, but he's not going anywhere.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "A Gerbil On A Wheel."
My friend Mark has a successful business, he has a great family, and he's very involved in a good church. But the other day, we had a heart-to-heart conversation and he summed up, I guess what you'd call a restlessness in his heart. He said, "Ron, I'm sick and tired of the status quo." I don't think he's alone.
I know more and more people who are tired of their 'gerbil wheel' of status quo living. It's not that the wheel is bad - it just isn't satisfying. It feels too much like a life that is full of activity, oh yeah, the wheel's spinning. But in terms of doing something really eternal, it doesn't seem to be going anywhere. This feeling of restlessness about the wheel you're spinning on might be leading you to the same conclusion my friend has reached. Even though there's nothing really wrong in my life, I really want more from it than more of just the same.
Okay, the reason for the restlessness may be traceable to the reality that God shows us in Ecclesiastes 3:11. He says, "He has set eternity in their hearts." You've got this 'hankering', as they say down South, for something that will give your life some eternal significance. You want more than a 'gerbil wheel' of doing your job, making some money, maintaining your Christian activities, and meeting your responsibilities. It's all good stuff, but again it's not enough to satisfy a heart that's restless for something more eternal.
The first step off the "gerbil wheel" of status quo living may be in our word for today from the Word of God in Matthew 6:32-33. Speaking of the pursuit of earth-stuff, Jesus says, "The pagans run after such things, and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given you as well."
As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we're not created to just spend our life building and maintaining an earth-kingdom. We are eternal beings created to make an eternal difference. The restlessness of our heart is ultimately to make a greater difference with the rest of our lives than we have ever made before. Don't you want that?
If the status quo isn't enough for you anymore, would you ask God for a mission that will affect people's eternity, for a life that's committed to building His Kingdom not yours; carrying out His agenda. Nothing matters more to Jesus than the mission for which He came to earth. In His words, "to seek and save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10).
My friend Mark, who told me of his discontentment with the status quo, said he wants the rest of his life to really be about sharing Christ, getting out the life-saving Gospel of Jesus, and taking people to heaven with him. He told me he wants his business profits to be about that, his relationships with the people in his world, his influence, the use of more and more of his time. See, that kind of passion to make the maximum possible difference with everything you've got, with the rest of the time you've got is the beginning of the great adventure that your heart has been hungry for.
More of the same running on the same old gerbil wheel will never be enough for a heart that's made for the eternal. Be all about Jesus' Kingdom, and your life will count more than you could have ever dreamed.