“No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.“2 Timothy 2:4
I was never a great student in school, and the only time I really worried about my grades was when I was facing report card time as I knew I would soon be suffering the consequences. I did not have much ambition in life, and I really did not give my future career much thought. I figured I could play professional basketball or football for living and that things would simply work out for me. The older I got, I began to realize I was not going to be a sports star, so I had better figure things out. I lacked vocational ambition and as I neared high school graduation, I was really confused as to what I was to do. My high school career was ending, and it was time for me to figure things out as my parents did not have a basement I could live in.
Even though I really did not know what to do in life, I figured a college education would at least open up more opportunities for me than my high school diploma. I found college to be somewhat easier than high school, but I think it was just because I started to really apply myself. I thought about a myriad of career paths, but I was not sold on any one thing. I dabbled in computers, English, and eventually settled in on Criminal Justice. I became enamored with the justice system and even had lofty goals of becoming a lawyer someday. I did all the thinking and planning on my own, and I did not have the one thing in mind that I should have.
I did not ask God what He would have me to do, and I became preoccupied with having a career more than anything else. I was active in my church, but serving God was not my sole focus. I had big plans and dreams for myself, but I never prayed about them or laid them before God. I sought my own way and my own ambitions. I was trying to create a better life for my family, but I thought of that only in terms of monetary success and not eternal success. I placed importance on pursuing a good job instead of desiring to be a good soldier for Jesus Christ. The spiritual battle was in full swing, but here I was pursuing earthly and temporal ambitions. My ambitions were not evil, but they certainly took my eyes off of what was truly important.
I know I am not alone in being preoccupied with my own dreams and ambition. Our dreams and goals may not be evil, but they can serve as a distraction for our true purpose here on earth. A career will be soon over, but our time as a soldier for Christ will have eternal implications. It is easy for us to lose focus as we sometimes spend more time with our co-workers than we do our own family. We chase retirement goals, and we often have plans for retirement that include a vacation rather than a battlefield. If we are going to do anything for Christ, we must not be preoccupied with the things of the world, but we must be ready to do all that God requires of us in being a good soldier.
Have you become entangled in the things of this world? Have you pursued a career or your family over being a good soldier of Jesus Christ? Have you placed temporal pursuit over that which will last for all eternity? Does the world know you are a soldier for Jesus Christ? What will your legacy be when you leave this earth? May we be counted faithful in pursuing the things of God, and may we be careful not to be distracted by that which will not last.