PASTORS' DAILY DEVOTIONAL
Keep Your Head UpTim Savage
9Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath, 10so the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, “You can’t work on the Sabbath! The law doesn’t allow you to carry that sleeping mat!” John 5
This crippled man lay at the pool of Bethesda for 38 years and on the day he was healed the first thing the religious leader said to him was that he shouldn’t be carrying his mat on the Sabbath. Where is it that we go so wrong, when do we stop seeing the forest for the trees, how do we miss the whole point of following God for the man-made rules and regulations of religion? I’m literally stunned by the callous behavior of this leader, who was quick to judge, but entirely missed the joyous celebration of a miracle. I’m very aware and sensitive to the fact that we, as leaders, can become so task oriented or project-centered that we miss the equally important, if not more so, relational aspect of ministry and life.
Have I ever missed the miracle because I was focused on the rules - with my wife, my kids, my co-workers or ministry partners? How did this religious leader get so far off track? One step at a time, no doubt, instead of all at once. Every day he kept moving further from the target, until one day he looked up to see that he was way off base. I bet he didn’t start off that way. I bet at the beginning his heart was soft for the people, I bet, early on, he wanted to help and be a blessing. The same can happen to us, when we are living our lives, working hard, but our heads are down, we take one step away from the target each day, until one day we look up to see that we have wandered far off the path. We read this story in John 5 and can’t believe the trangression, but if we were to stop and look at ourselves we might find that we have done the same with our spouse, our children or our co-workers. I must keep my head up and remember the lesson of the callous priest. I have to look for God’s miracles around me and celebrate them. I must never forget the importance of relationship or exchange it for task. I don’t want to suddenly look up and find that I have wandered far from my family, friends or co-laborers in Christ. I have to daily check myself so that I don’t become that which I so despise.
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for this reminder, please help me to keep my head up and re-align to my target so that I don’t lose what is most important. In Jesus name, Amen