Don't allow yourself to get distracted in the slightest; slightly off now can lead to way off down the road.
I was reading through Proverbs this morning as part of my 4-Month Bible Read Thru. I found myself highlighting, jotting down notes, and both convicted and encouraged by proverb after proverb.
Then it hit me: Solomon didn’t finish well.
This is the son of David, a man after God’s own heart. This is the anointed king of Israel. This is the one whom God gave wisdom beyond any other person who has ever lived. This is the man who built the temple. (Check out I Kings 5-7 if you want to be amazed at an unbelievable building project.) This is a man who is honored, feared, and revered.
But he didn’t finish well. His heart “turned away from the Lord.” (I Kings 11:3)
I’m pretty convinced it was because he got distracted. He didn’t have reminders.
Solomon didn’t wake up one day and say, “I think following God is a bad idea. All that wisdom stuff doesn’t make sense. God’s never been good to me. I don’t even think He’s real. Maybe I’ll check out some other gods.”
No. He just got distracted. He didn’t focus. He didn’t heed his own advice. He didn’t have reminders. And he needed them.
Like I've said before: Slightly off track + time = way off the mark.
Check out what Solomon himself wrote in Proverbs 4:
Look straight ahead,
and fix your eyes on what lies before you.
Mark out a straight path for your feet;
stay on the safe path.
Don’t get sidetracked;
keep your feet from following evil.
Solomon’s own words are a template for why we need reminders:
- Reminders help us look straight ahead. We need a goal to focus on. As the old saying goes, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.” Keep a reminder in front of you of the goal you’re aiming at.
- Reminders help us fix our eyes. Once we know what is “straight ahead,” we need to fix our eyes on it. Life is busy. Filled with distractions. If we don’t fix our eyes, our eyes will wander.
- Reminders mark out a straight path. Many times we know what we want to do, who we want to be, or where we want to go. But it seems so hard, so unattainable, and so far away. Reminders help mark the path with the small steps we must take if we are going to get there. (For those of you What About Bob? fans, can you say “Baby steps?”)
- Reminders keep us from getting sidetracked and following evil. As one hymnist wrote over 200 years ago, we are “prone to wander.” If we don’t stay focused, we will get sidetracked. And I don’t know about you, but when I get sidetracked away from my goals, it’s rarely to something good.
Have a conversation with God and ask Him to show you who He wants you to be, or something He wants you to do. When He tells you, write it down. Then create a reminder. Or a bunch of them.
After all, Solomon has a lot to teach us. Including how not to finish.
Question: What is one way having reminders has helped you?