What You Follow Guides Your Life, Choose Wisely
On Christmas Eve, I am always one of millions of people around the world attending a Christmas Eve service, before joining my family for a holiday meal. I love this seasonal tradition. Packed in a church, hungry for dinner, holding candles and watching the eight year old sitting three rows up to see if he lights the chair on fire…Christmas Eve services are an important tradition.
This last Christmas, one of the hymns the congregation sang was “Star of Wonder,” or “We Three Kings.” While I could spin around, eyes closed, and run a 5k while still reciting each word of the hymn, this year, it struck me a little differently.
The wise men’s journey of worship was not convenient. It wasn’t a quick little walk across town. Theologians suggest that their journey took months! Months! I often refer to my morning commute as a trek - 45 minutes in a subway is nothing compared to months across diverse terrain. Yet they were so struck with awe that their journey was not something to begrudgingly take on. Instead, it was an opportunity for worship that they just couldn’t pass up.
Field and fountain, moor and mountain
What would you climb a mountain for? An Instagram photo? A really great victory cookie?
What would you climb mountains, cross valleys, and put up with weather - for months on end - for? I’m sure that list is much harder to write down.
Star of wonder, star of night
Star of royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to thy perfect light
As I sang with the congregation this last Christmas Eve, I thought about what my “star” is. While I don’t have a blazing ball of light in the sky, beckoning me through the desert, there are so many indicators of our Savior’s goodness that provide a light to follow.
Personally, being up in time to see the sun rise is my favorite, literal reminder of the Lord’s light in my life. The Creator of everything painting a picture to welcome the day. Yet even if the sun rise is clouded with fog and drizzle, the Lord’s goodness remains obvious.
Romans 1:20 says, “Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made. So they are without excuse.”
My question is this: The wise men followed the star, a very physical response to the Lord’s goodness. Their journey was an act of worship. What you follow is an act of worship.
So, what is it?
We all follow something - we all have something, or someone we make a point to keep up with. Our actions are impacted by what we decide to follow, whether consciously or subconsciously.
These things are not bad - Lord knows how much I go after success in my career, or anything (a little competitive…just a smidge). But if they are things you refuse to set aside for the sake of worshipping the King of all Creation, they’ve become your star.
Church, we can’t clutter our sky. We’ve got to keep our focus on the Lord’s calling for our lives. We’ve got to remain clear on what our star is.
“But Lil, I have all these things I’ve got to do first!”
Your dry-cleaning takes a backseat to this, pal. As does every other thing on your list. If that’s not your favorite thing to hear, sorry, but your plans are never more important than the Lord’s. Not to mention, haven’t we figured out by now that it’s better to trust Him on these things?
The wise men dropped everything they were doing to pursue this star - to pursue the worship of Jesus. I’m sure they had other things going on, they seem like pretty important gentlemen. Yet, their earthly tasks did not compare to the worship of their Creator, their King. Look where dropping everything got them - to the Savior Himself!
Friends, we have a long list of things we want to accomplish in this life. We have plenty of people we look up to. We have desires and dreams and wishes. But we cannot allow any of these things to become our guiding star. All of those things, no matter how fantastic an aspiration they may be, have the potential to lead us astray. The only sure-fire star we can follow faithfully, without doubt, is Jesus.
YAHOO those wise men sure earned their title, didn’t they?