Drift Or Decide?

Do you ever feel like your relationship with Jesus is just sort of drifting along?

Simply put, drift is the decision you make when you don’t decide (Gretchen Rubin). It’s what happens when you ignore Lessons From The Jar.

Ever driven a long stretch of straight, deserted road? Attention fades, and suddenly you’re not focused on choosing your course. But the car doesn’t stop moving. Other forces take over, and you move gradually off course. You’re drifting.

Mostly the results of drifting aren’t positive.

Someone chooses

We forget, maybe because it’s so obvious, that someone chooses where we spend our time and energy. If we don’t consciously decide, others are happy to do it for us. We face a spiritual enemy who relishes the opportunity to encourage even a small bit of drift.

I’ve been thinking about the difference between trying and training. Maybe the danger of drift is another reason to focus on training.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 1 Corinthians 9:24-25

Training is intensely purposeful. Every detail matters, every activity is carefully scripted, catalogued, measured, and analyzed. When discipline fades, even for a moment, you’re drifting.

An example of drift

Becky’s been struggling with an issue at work that’s become all-consuming. In eternal terms it’s an insignificant speck, but that’s not how it seems at the moment. We’ve talked a lot about how the enemy is using events to divert our focus. It’s so tempting to allow others to decide what’s important, how we need to react. We’ve both become discouraged, frustrated, and angry with people we don’t even know!

We’re not making disciplined choices about our thoughts and responses. Others, people who may not seek our best interests, gladly fill the void. We’re drifting into places we don’t want to go. By not deciding, we’re deciding.

Here’s the Bible’s antidote to this deadly emotional drift.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8

I’m learning that following Jesus doesn’t happen by accident or osmosis. Drifting along on the winds of the world, letting myself go with the flow, takes me on a romantic-sounding path to isolation.

Like that car on the deserted road, people and events move forward. They’ll carry me along if I choose to allow it. I’ll end up somewhere, and I’ll live with the consequences of my decision to avoid deciding.

Following Him requires will, intentionality, and disciplined training.

The cool thing is that I’m training for a life of authentic freedom, mercy, grace, and infinite love.

That’s worth a little sweat, huh?

What’s an area in which you’re drifting? What can you do to be more intentional about your course?

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Copyright 2010 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

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