Summary: A sermon about returning to God when we find ourselves off base.
"Seek the Lord"
The older I get the more I become aware of how short this life really is.
When we are in our teens, twenties and even thirties it can seem as if we have all the time in the world to waste.
Twenty-some-odd years ago I was hanging out with an old high school buddy.
We were both very young--basically right out of college.
We had grown up going to the same church, Sunday school classes and Youth Group.
We had known one another for a long time.
Our parents were friends with one another.
We had similar backgrounds.
We both believed in God and Jesus.
In any event, we were talking about faith, life, God--all that kinds of stuff, and my friend said something interesting.
And what he said is similar to what I have heard many, many folks say down through the years.
I've said it myself.
He said, "I believe in Jesus, and someday I will give my life to Him.
But not now.
I have too many other things I want to do first."
Have you ever said that either to yourself or someone else--or even to God perhaps?
"Jesus, I believe in You.
I believe You are the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Someday, I will give my life to following you.
But not now.
Right now, I have a whole lot of other stuff I want to do--stuff that has nothing to do with You."
When we are young or even a little bit older than young--it can seem as if we have all the time in the world.
And so, what do we do?
Oftentimes we waste time.
We waste it running after and seeking something that can satisfy us--when nothing other than a living relationship with God truly can.
It's been said that "Time is the most precious commodity for any living thing."
And there is a lot of truth to that.
We are given a certain amount of time we can spend in life.
Once we run out, we’re out.
There is no buying it back.
There is no borrowing or creating time.
And we have no idea how much time we actually have.
We could have another couple of decades, or we could only have another couple of hours.
We're almost never given a head’s up when we're about to run out of time; death is almost always a surprise.
We never know how much this next upcoming minute is really worth; it could very well be our last.
Unfortunately, most of us don’t think about the value of time.
We will all run out of time no matter what.
The worst thing we can do is waste it.
Why, then, do we run around seeking things that can never fully satisfy us?
Why do we waste so much time on so much junk?
There can be no doubt that we live in a world which is filled with constant promotion.
It seems that everywhere we turn we are bombarded with offers and false promises to fill every want and desire imaginable.
And it's really easy for us to become convinced that we really, really need something--that, in all reality--we don't: a bigger car, a bigger house, a different lover.
These offers are false.
They promise to satisfy but are just empty calories--junk food really.
And when we start running after these false promises, we are in the process of running away from God.
And, any way of life that turns us away from God is a way of life that leads to our starvation and death.
In our Scripture passage for this morning God reminds us: "My plans aren't your plans, nor are your ways my ways."
Isaiah writes: "Why spend money for what isn't food, and your earnings for what doesn't satisfy?
...Listen and come to me; listen and you will live."
Are you listening to God?
Are we interested in what God has to say or are we too busy wasting time?
When I was in seminary, some of us took turns leading a monthly Communion Service at a local nursing home.
These services were held in the lounge at one end of the building.
It was the best space they had and it had a piano so this meant we could sing together.
Even so, the space was less than ideal.
Those who got there early got the comfortable seats that were against the walls.
Those who got there later had to sit in a metal folding chair, setting their cane or walker aside --- which would often cause traffic problems.
And a whole lot of others would sit in the aisles in their wheel chairs.
When it came time to share the bread and juice of Communion, you would find yourself moving carefully so as not to get tangled up in someone's feet or wheelchair or walker or cane.