Are You Easily Distracted?

Are You Easily Distracted?

Thursday, 26 February 2015  | Narelle - MECS Principal
This is what the Lord Almighty says: “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the Lord’s house.’” Then the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your panelled houses, while this house remains a ruin?”
Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”
This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 8 Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honoured,” says the Lord. 9 “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the Lord Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin while each of you is busy with your own house.” Haggai 1:2-9.

In 538 BC, the King of Persia issued a decree allowing the exiled Jews to return to Jerusalem. About 50,000 returned and one of their first jobs was to re-build the temple. Within two years they had completed the foundations and there was much rejoicing. However, work soon came to a halt not only because of political unrest in the region, but because the Jews took their eye off the main game! Haggai tried to arouse them from their lethargy and reminded them that their disobedience in not completing the temple was leading to dissatisfaction with their lives and a curse upon their land!

It seems to me that the Jews probably came back with very good intentions about the way they would rebuild their community, starting with their temple life. This was going to be a great new period in their history! However, within two years they had become distracted. When faced with opposition, instead of standing strong, they started to focus on their own lives and households, pouring their time and resources into the beautification of their own homes.

And God says to them – “Give careful thought to your ways!”

We too, often begin with good intentions – both in our faith journey, family life and in our commitment to Christian education – and yet we often become distracted by our own priorities and agendas. We can even be distracted and busy doing other really good things, but neglect the main task of building God’s Kingdom. And the curse that comes our way is that we can become dissatisfied with our own lives – what we have doesn’t seem enough, or satisfy us anymore.

God’s gentle rebuke in this situation is simple, and repeated a number of times throughout this Old Testament book: “Give careful thought to your ways.” May we be encouraged to do this often, and help our children and students to also persevere and focus on the important task of Kingdom building and Kingdom living!

Importantly, a number of our school leaders met this week to pray, plan and dream about the coming year and years ahead. This is an opportunity for us to make sure that our focus is also on ‘Kingdom’ things. Like a home, we as Christian teachers and leaders can become distracted by our “panelled houses”. We can put a lot of time and energy into making our classrooms look great, our curriculum programs ‘just so’ and our school very busy! Whilst all these things have merit, all of these things don’t make us the sort of school that God has called us to be! Our leadership planning day gives us an opportunity to think carefully about our ways and re-orientate our practices to those that will bring honour to God. It also gives us, as individuals, a chance to re-focus our own lives back to the source of all blessing and satisfaction.

As always, we value your prayers and partnership in the important task of seeking God’s Kingdom in education.

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