“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.” – Matthew 24:42
I’ve been reading Stu Weber’s book Tender Warrior. He devotes a chapter to the topic of Staying Power. In it, he laments that men do not stand fast to their commitments. They break promises, they leave their families, and they bounce from job to job. In his book The Principal of the Path, Andy Stanley asserts that what we may see as discrete choices are actually connected steps on a path to our destination. In other words, where we end up is very much a function of the path that we have taken. Seems to make sense.
Both of these books, written by living models for manhood, point to a similar theme: It’s vigilance in the little things day in and day out that result in a Godly life. My spiritual maturity is the accumulation of the tiny steps I have taken toward God and the tiny steps I have taken away from God over the decades.
I can definitely see this in the rather mundane area of my health and nutrition habits. By my calculations, I have lost about 325 pounds over the last 20 years. Unfortunately, I have gained about 340 pounds over the same time period. This has left me about 15 pounds overweight. Short of cutting off a limb, I can’t lose 15 pounds in a day. It will require vigilant effort day in and day out to get to the desired destination.
Jesus teaches us the same thing in Matthew 24. As he discusses a subject as momentous as the Apocalypse, he notes that the wise servant will be found vigilantly tending to his daily responsibilities.
Lord, give me the staying power to be obedient to your will moment by moment. It is my greatest desire to abide in you so that when you come looking for me you find me serving your purposes. Amen.
This post originally published July 14, 2010.