We had a great weekend at Northview with our Special-Needs Carnival on Saturday and the Special-Needs service on Sunday. Evidently, unbeknownst to me, there was a residual balloon in our midst that made a showing during preaching. Right in the middle of the sermon this guy made its way floating above the crowd. As I was speaking it came right down the aisle about eight feet off of the ground. Knowing that everyone is of course going to be watching the balloon (as if they’ve never seen one before) I said in jest, “Don’t look at that balloon. Don’t do it!” To my rescue came Luke Chappin, one of our young men who ran up and grabbed it. And the balloon, I know you’re wondering--we never saw it again.
While the diversion was minuscule and humorous, there is a point here for us to tease out. A balloon is neither good nor bad. They can instrumentally be used for good - celebrations, parties, making children smile, made into various shapes, etc. And, unfortunately, they can cause harm - I remember as a parent of young children we would keep our children away from teflon balloons because of the choking concern. Yet, at the end of the day, balloons aren’t bad.
This past Lord’s Day our brief moment with the red balloon, although it was a distraction, it was really no big deal. It may go to show, however, how something so small and insignificant can be used by Satan to get our lives off track. Have you ever been “out of focus”? Has your spiritual emphasis ever been derailed? Looking back, was there a season of your life that, if you were to honestly assess such, you’d have to say you weren’t doing much for God? I know that I’ve had those times in my life, and I doubt that you’re much different.
While it is my conviction that all of life is worship (Ro. 12:1-2), let’s be honest: sometimes our life of worship is more focused on ourselves than on God. I’m not saying that in those times of struggle and distraction a Christian is necessarily lost or out of favor with God, but I am saying such distractions draw energy away from what’s most important. What’s pressing should never eclipse what’s most important.
I’m reminded of the story of Mary and Martha: “Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (Lk. 10:38-42)
Martha’s desire to entertain and tend to the needs of her guest was praiseworthy. However, even such a noble gesture should not have been allowed to overshadow what was most important. “The main thing,” as you’ve heard said many times, “must always be the MAIN thing.” Friends, stay focused. Guard your heart and your life against those “red balloons.”
You are loved!