I like to scuba dive and snorkel. My wife and I were snorkeling in Hawaii many years ago. We were near the beach looking at the fish and we got into some sea turtles and we were having a lot of fun. After about an hour or so of playing with the turtles we lifted our heads to find out where we were. I think we were both shocked to find out that in about an hour we had drifted a long way away from where we went into the water. Now both of us are decent swimmers but we had a long swim to get back where we started. And it was going to take a lot of effort on our part to get back where our stuff was on the beach. It was fun watching the sea turtles, fish, and the coral, but it was going to take some hard work to swim against the tide in order to get back to where we needed to be.
I’ve been reading a book recently called “Mission Drift” and how it applies to organizations including churches that once understood what their mission was and throughout time have drifted away. In true fashion, I started to ask myself questions. Is it possible to drift away from what God has called me to do? Is it possible for an organization such as a church to drift away from what God has called it to be?
I think the answer is yes in both cases. Back to snorkeling we were having a good time and yet we were drifting and didn’t realize it until we picked up our head to take a look.
I like God’s word in Luke chapter 15 Jesus tells the parable of a prodigal who doesn’t realize how far he’s drifted until he comes to his senses. The prodigal had to swim back to his father and that was going to be no fun because that was going to be uncomfortable, it was going to be hard work.
I believe each of us has a personal mission that God has called us to be on. Are you drifting? Do you need to swim back? Sometimes I think it’s easier if we just allow the tide to take us where ever it wants to take us. Unfortunately, the tide is our culture and it will take us even farther away from the mission that God has called us to be a part of.
What about the church? We can get so wrapped up in other stuff that we forget we were left here to be His witness. To connect with the people that are around us - and hope that some would see Jesus through us. Let’s never forget that.
It will always take hard work to swim back - to get back to the basics of what Jesus has called us to do. Trust me, it will be worth it! So if you’re off course today swim, and swim hard, do whatever it takes to get back.