Max De Pree was a successful businessman as CEO of Herman Miller office furniture company in the 1980s. He also wrote books and spoke on leadership and personal growth. De Pree was once asked “What is the most difficult thing that you personally have to work on?” He quickly replied his greatest challenge was to defend against his natural tendency to drift.
If you are a science fan, you will remember in eighth grade when you studied Newton’s laws of motion. Newton’s second law of thermodynamics states that “every system left to its own devices always tends to move from order to disorder, ultimately it will reach the state of complete randomness and will be unavailable for further work.” This sounds a lot like me when football is on.
It is fascinating that the laws of humanity and Newton’s laws of motion reach the same conclusion: by default, unless we fight against the drift, we will drift. Any given area of your life, unless you intentionally inject energy into it and stand on guard, will tend to move towards randomness, decay and insignificance.
If you are married, you are either working on staying married or you are drifting towards divorce. You are either working on getting closer to God or you are drifting apart from him. You are either moving towards financial health or you are drifting into financial chaos, oversight and missed opportunities.
Albert Einstein said, "Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
The book of wisdom in the Bible is the book of Proverbs. Proverbs 24:30-34 states, “I went past the field of a sluggard, past the vineyard of someone who has no sense; thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins. I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw: A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest — and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.”
A fruitful productive vineyard does not happen by accident. It only happens by intention with planning and effort both in season and out of season. In the Middle East, at the time Solomon wrote this, a piece of land that was capable of growing crops was extremely valuable. It was a lifeline for you, your kids, and future generations. It truly was the opportunity of a lifetime. And to waste that opportunity was tragic.
Friends, you and I have been given a valuable vineyard called our lives. Is this pandemic draining, discouraging, and making so many things more difficult? Yes! Does it get tiring or discouraging at times defending against the drift in our lives? Yes, it does. But it sure beats the sheer tragedy of wasting this valuable gift of life. You have been given a body, a spirit, a soul, a mind, passions, gifts, talents, strengths, relationships, financial resources — all of these are a gift from the gracious loving hand of God. Don’t give up. Neither God nor I have given up on you!
Evaluate your life, through prayer, and commit today to your next righteous (God-led) step to defend against the drift!
Hauser is a pastor and leadership coach and can be reached at email@example.com