What child does not enjoy playing in the waves, building sandcastles, and tasting the briny waters of the Gulf or the Atlantic Ocean? What mother does not fear her precious one being swept away by a cruel undercurrent or being knocked down and drowned by a sneaky wave? So my brother and I always heard the warning about staying within eyesight or earshot. "Remember to keep watching the lifeguard stand! Always stay in front of it so that I can keep an eye on you."
Of course, with aggravating consistency, within fifteen minutes we found ourselves about a quarter of a mile down the beach. It seems that if you don't constantly keep watching the point of reference, you will drift. We found ourselves being the object of the fervent shouts along the shore of an anxious mother who ordered us back up the beach to her watchful eye.
Drifting is a danger that plagues us as we journey through life. Marriages grow stale and die because couples slowly drift apart. Careers, children, and other obligations may cause us to lose focus on the reference point. The love that burned so brightly in the beginning may grow dim. Rather than a crisis event, it seems that the real danger was drifting.
At work we set goals to keep us focused on ever improving. The alternative may be to fall into a habit of settling for the good instead of the best. Goals keep us from drifting.
At times this happens in our walk of faith. We must pay attention to what is really important, lest we drift away. God may use people or circumstances like that anxious mother to jar us and remind us of his loving care.
© 2005, John C. Fitts, III. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted from Grace Drops, Volume 3 (2005).