Last week my vehicle, a 1999 Ford Ranger, hit 200,000 miles on the odometer. That’s a lot of miles! I purchased the truck used about 12 years ago, but the majority of those miles are mine! I’ve literally driven it across the country and through every type of climate and terrain. It’s not flashy, and it certainly looks like it has seen better days, but I love my old, reliable pickup.
The only problem is that it doesn’t have cruise control. I really wish it did! All those miles would have been a lot easier with some cruise control! The purpose of cruise control is that you can set it at a certain speed, take your foot off the gas and relax a little bit. You aren’t able to take a nap behind the wheel or anything, but it certainly allows you to be a little more relaxed on long drives.
Sometimes in our walk with God I think we can have a tendency to put our relationship with him on “cruise control.” We still want to reach the destination, but we may not feel like being as intentional as we once were. Often this will look like a person becoming lax in their church attendance, stopping serving, and getting out of the habit of daily devotional time. Over time this results in a relationship with God that is declining, lukewarm, or worse.
The Apostle Paul encourages us in Philippians 3 to keep pressing on toward the goal—to keep purposefully and intentionally moving forward in our relationship with God as we look toward the prize of heaven. The problem with setting ourselves on spiritual cruise control is that we don’t keep moving toward God at the same speed. Instead, we decelerate and eventually may even stop. When this happens we are more vulnerable to negative influence and sin that can cause us to stray from God’s best for us.
However, the call of God on the life of every believer is to live a life worthy of the calling that we have received—to not become weary in doing good, but to keep pressing on, sowing seeds of righteousness as we look toward the harvest—to reject spiritual cruise control and drive on toward our destination.
As we enter into the summer months, I look forward to having vacation time where my family can travel, enjoy ourselves, and especially relax! Times of rest and rejuvenation are important for us in order to continue being effective in every area of life. The Bible is clear that Sabbath rest is good for us. When we allow ourselves to have an adequate amount of rest in our lives, we are set up for success with energy, creativity, passion and even patience. All of those things are difficult or even impossible to have without rest. So, rest is good! Sabbath is good! Vacation is good! And, with adequate, regular rest, we stop ourselves from the tendency toward spiritual cruise control because we don’t get “burned out.”
My hope for you is that you are able to have a great summer time, (whether you are a student or an adult), that is restful and fun, and that during your rest you are able to continue growing closer to Christ as you put him first in your life. May God bless you tremendously in all you do.