In his book, Peaceful living in a Stressful World, Ron Hutchcraft describes five moments scattered throughout our day. Some are exciting. Some are restful. Some are stressful while others are rather dull. But all of them present us with a choice. Who will rule that moment?
Psalm 119:18 — “When I awake, I am still with you.”
Proverbs 3:6 — “In all you ways acknowledge him.”
Ecclesiastes 9:12 — “Men are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them.”
Matthew 14:23 — “He went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.”
Psalm 63:6 — “On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night.”
One day Snoopy and Charlie Brown were out playing fetch. Charlie threw the stick. Snoopy chased it and brought it back. Charlie threw it again. Snoopy chased it again. Suddenly Snoopy stopped. And the comic strip pictured him thinking to himself, “I wonder what people will say about me after I’m gone … He was a nice guy … He chased sticks.”
There’s not much point in chasing sticks, nor in living a life that “chases the wind” as Solomon put it (Ecclesiastes 1:14). And what are the sticks we chase? The stick of success? The stick of wealth? The stick of health? And WHO decides the sticks we chase, the goals we pursue? And, more importantly, WHO is throwing your stick?
He was a nice guy, he chased sticks. He was a nice guy, he died wealthy. He was an interesting person, when he died they made a museum out of his house. She was a famous person, when she died, they used a whole column in the obituary section of the paper. He was one of the greats. When he died, it made the front page. He was a nice guy. And he died. And she died. But what for? For what reason? What did they do that gave both their life and their death meaning? What can I do in life that will survive my death?
George McDonald wrote, “In whatever man does without God, he must fail miserably, or succeed more miserably.” Or as Jesus put it, “What good is it … to gain the world, but lose your soul?” … to lose your essence … to lose who you are … who you are designed to be. Chasing sticks?