Angie shuffled through a pile of fall leaves that had blown against the rock wall as she walked toward the woods by her home. “The leaves are like jewels now,” she muttered. “It’s too bad the color soon fades and the leaves die. Nothing lasts.” She sighed and tried to focus on something else as she continued her walk, but she thought back to the rustle of the dying leaves. What’s wrong with me? My life seems colorless and empty.
Angie sat on an old wooden bench by the edge of the woods and watched the gentle breeze shake the branches of a 20-foot maple tree causing a flurry of bright yellow leaves to fall. Under the tree lay leaves in various degrees of color and decay from dull mustard yellow, brownish rust to dull brown.
When Jeff got the transfer that brought us to Virginia, our lives exploded with activity and opportunities we thought we’d never have, thought Angie. We were so caught up in his new career advancement and the added income, our view of life changed. We bought a huge home, new cars for both of us and a motor home. Angie sighed. Then we started our family. Our social life expanded, and we went to Europe for a month’s vacation.
Angie leaned over and picked up an aging leave and crushed it. Now I feel like this leaf - drained of all inward vitality and purpose. She looked up at the cloudy sky. Dear Jesus, we left You behind in Denver. By our choices here in Virginia, I stopped abiding in You. I’m disconnected from my Source of spiritual strength and I am dying, just as surly as these leaves are dying.
Angie wept. “I can’t live without you, Lord. Please forgive me and help me stay connected to you.”
She knew God heard her prayer. She was filled with an inner peace and joy. Angie promised Jesus that she would find her Bible and start her “abiding” time again the moment she got home.
Jesus says, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit, for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered, and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned,” (John 15:5-6 NKJ).
Many Christians go through periods of increasing demands on their lives because of their families and careers. With the affluence of America, many have elaborate homes, take cruises and trips to foreign lands, and indulge in expensive hobbies and pastimes. The opportunities to experience life fill our lives, thoughts – and take our time.
Regardless of our income level, choices are necessary for the happiness and well being of our loved ones and ourselves. However, the welfare of our spiritual life is often replaced by the more entertaining choices available.
Most of us don’t have riches to draw us away from our relationship with the Lord, but anything that encroaches on our time can distance us from Jesus. We need to be careful to maintain the most important connection in our lives – to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We may be blessed with many of this world’s luxuries, or we may go through life just trying to survive financially, but as Christians we all have the richest possession - our relationship with Jesus.
Our fellowship with the Lord must be nourished on a regular basis. To stay connected to Jesus, let’s keep Him at the top of our priority list.