(Red-letter portions of the New Testament)

Matthew 13:3, 7, 22, "Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed...Some seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants...The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but anxieties of this life and illusions about getting more and wanting everything under the sun, strangle what was heard, and nothing comes of it."

In America, we and our children have so many activities and opportunities to choose from and to be involved in. We have so much we can acquire, if we can just extend ourselves a little more. In the midst of that, we set our sights on those things, instead of God.

We might even go to church and read our Bibles, but the best God has for us, what is unseen and eternal, gets lost in the shuffle, or forgotten, while we pursue the temporary physical things.

Stuffing our children's lives with as many activities and experiences as we can may entertain them, but it will not fill the deepest needs of their hearts or draw them closer to their savior.

We can find ourselves, years later staring at all that stuff we had to have, now laid out in a garage sale with little value, and we are no closer to God for possessing it.

We can look around at our children's trophies and ribbons and wonder why as adults they struggle to find purpose, why they never call. We wonder if our grandchildren are learning to pray or sing "Jesus Loves Me" or if they are just another generation of kids being thrown into activities that don't ultimately fulfill them.

The shiny objects around us, what the world has to offer, is a constant distraction that chokes out our relationship with God, our love for Jesus, and our worship in the Spirit that feeds our souls. If the well of our soul is not filled with God, because we are too busy pursuing other things, we will run dry and there will be no eternal fruit to show for it.

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