Most of us want things to turn out 'all right' in life. We strive for this outcome - not really wanting to endure any type of failure at all. Why? Failure isn't comfortable - it costs us something - we don't always regroup after it very well. Have you ever been accused of taking life too seriously - of being 'too afraid' to fail? Guess what...when someone tells you that you take life seriously, they are actually paying you a high compliment! According to scripture, taking life seriously is something that will find you a great reward, significant honor, and integrity that stands the test of time. I have been told on more than one occasion that I am way too intense about life - I am not afraid to fail, but I like to think things through before I take that first step - making others think I am just a little bit scared of the next steps. I guess that it really doesn't bother me - in fact, rather than being put off by that insight, I want to continue to have that intensity without putting people off by it - I want to be cautious when I need to be and bold when it is time for me to take those steps God asks me to take.
It pays to take life seriously; things work out when you trust in God. (Proverbs 16:20)
Quiet reflection is often the "norm" for a believer who is given to "taking life seriously". They have those dedicated and consistent times of reflection - times to think things through and run them through the various "filters" they have been given by God's Spirit, the Word, and those times of prayerful consideration at the feet of Jesus. Sometimes people interpret this kind of "reflective" time as delaying a response, or not being concerned about what is going on in their life. It is most often that time we take to gather our thoughts, allowing God to give us the right answers to even the toughest of questions that help us make decisions in a more 'decided' fashion and with absolute certainty (faith).
God is in the business of examining motives. Whatever motivates us is the object or person that has captivated out attention and drives our actions. We are moved by that which maintains our focus the most. That's why God focuses on motives so much - getting at the heart of the matter in our daily choices means he can begin to point out to us where focus is in need of a little adjusting. He asks for serious reflection on what it is that "has our focus" - because it also has our heart. He desires to be the only one that has our heart - therefore, he examines our heart so frequently.
There is much to be gained in reflective times. In the intensity of life, there are times of refreshing that are needed. The path of the upright leads away from evil - they have learned to follow a different path. This is not because a Christian is perfect, but because their heart has been captivated by Christ, thereby affecting their focus and intent. This affected focus ends up impacting motives, and keeping us from wrong paths - those choices that would otherwise be made in the haste of the moment. Hunger drives us to the kitchen - desire drives us to prepare the meal - passion drives us to consume it for all the enjoyment we will derive from that meal. We need all three!
I wonder if we really know the value of what makes us "hungry" for more of God's grace, "desirous" of times alone in his presence, or "passionate" about giving all in service to him. This type of "intensity" doesn't happen accidentally - it is a choice made because of a hungry heart. Becoming what God desires begins with hunger. Hunger actually makes our focus more 'acute'. We may not recognize the value of our hunger until we begin to experience the desire for more of God! Just sayin!