“. . . knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers” (1 Peter 1:18).
DECIDING TO REACH FORWARD REQUIRES A GOOD BIT MORE THAN JUST GETTING BUSY. Our actions have to be motivated by a love for God, and they have to be within the limits of His will and His purposes. Having been redeemed from the “aimless conduct” in which we used to engage, we must now devote ourselves to deeds that are purposeful and fruitful with regard to God.
One of the distinguishing characteristics of the Christian’s life is that it is going somewhere that really matters. If there were no God, nothing that happens would have any meaning. From birth to death, our lives would be no more than the “busyness” of spinning our wheels. But God does exist, and what that means is that history is not just history — it is His story. The plot is moving toward a climax that will redound to His eternal glory, and if we allow ourselves to be reconciled to Him through His Son, then every deed we do can help move the plot toward its great end.
We need to live, work, and serve in the confidence that what we do in the Lord is eternally worthwhile whether we can see that right now or not. Paul wrote, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:58). Your labor is not in vain in the Lord. What glorious, life-changing words! What a difference they ought to make for us on days when we can’t see that it does any good to try to do what’s right.
But we need to take the time to take stock of the way we’re living our lives. If we’ve become Christians, we have the opportunity to be busy about the most important things in the world — but really, are those the things we’re busy about most of the time? Is our day-to-day activity connected to our principles in a harmonious way? Are we walking our talk? Is it really God we’re reaching forward to, or must we admit that we’re preoccupied with lesser things? These questions aren’t just important; they ought to be urgent as well. If we’re not busy about the Father’s business, then our conduct is not going anywhere — it’s aimless.
“It is not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: what are we busy about?” (Henry David Thoreau).