I’m a distracted driver. Sometimes, I get to my destination and wonder how in the world I made it. Signs, traffic, new restaurants, billboards—there is a lot to take in! From the time we wake up to the time we lay our head down at night, we’re bombarded with messaging. News headlines, sports scores, weather forecasts, Twitter feeds, Netflix series. I recently spent some time watching The Fellowship of the Ring (please don’t tune out if you’re not a Lord of the Rings fan). In The Lord of the Rings trilogy, there is a ring of power that falls into the hand of a humble hobbit. This ring has corrupted all those who have held it. As they’ve obsessed over its power and its lure, they become corrupted and darkened by its influence. To the point that they all begin to fall in love with it, become possessive of it, and call it, “My precious.”
We become like the things we place our eyes on. If we spend time taking in news headlines, our heart will become a flutter of panic and heaviness—breaking news is all we’ll see. If we take in all the scores, life will become one big March Madness. If we allow the Netflix series to keep rolling, our hearts will become shaped by the content we’re taking in.
I find it interesting that the Psalms begin with a simple warning: Be careful what you take in. Be careful who you allow to influence your life. The life of joy? It’s one that is marked by being set apart. Set apart to what? That’s what we’ll talk about tomorrow.
Take a moment to take inventory: What are the primary influences in your life right now? How are they impacting your heart and life? Can you name one person, place, or thing that you need to remove from influencing your life?