Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Secret Service is Watching

When I was a freshman in college I attended a conference in Washington D.C. The highlight of the event would be hearing then President Ronal Reagan speak. I was pumped. I had never seen a president live and in person and Ronald Reagan, to me, is the greatest president America has ever seen. As I went through the Secret Service security checks on the way into the auditorium, the metal detector went off. I emptied everything out of my pockets and tried again only to have the alarm sound again. They then used the wand on me and sent me through the detector again. BEEP! They tried the wand again but once again the detector went off as I passed through it.

They then took me off to the side and had me spread my legs and lift my arms. They hand frisked me. I was getting nervous. Was I going to have to endure a strip search just to see and hear my political hero speak? Finally satisfied that I had no weapon or anything that even resembled a weapon, they let me into the auditorium. But before they dismissed me they told me that somebody was going to be watching me. I bet that was indeed the case. I can only imagine that some suit-wearing guy wearing dark glasses, an ear piece and with a microphone up his sleeve was assigned to watch lowly me throughout the entire speech. I had an impulse to deliberately slide my hand into my suit coat to see how long it would take before I was jumped on and wrestled to the ground. At least I had enough sense to not follow that impulse.

I think I enjoyed watching the Secret Service agents that night more than the President. That kind of thing has always fascinated me. They each obviously had their areas of watch and they were focused. In fact, at one point in the President’s speech, a group of protestors stood up with signs and begin to yell “bread not bombs.” Everyone in the building, including the President, turned toward the distraction to see what was taking place…everyone that is except for the Secret Service Agents whose assignments were in other areas away from the distraction. These guys were so well trained and so disciplined that they never even flinched. They kept their focus on their assigned areas. For them to be distracted could mean the death of the President. They had their eyes fixed on their assignments and no distraction caused them to lose their focus even for a second.

That is how we need to be as followers of Christ. The writer of Hebrews tells us to “fix our gaze on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” The Evil One, along with our evil world’s system and our own sin nature, is constantly calling out to us to look at different things which can be very appealing to us. But like the President’s Secret Service, we must be disciplined. We must keep our gaze exactly where it is supposed to be…on Jesus. If we get distracted, the results can be devastating.

Just ask Peter. He was actually walking on water as he looked right at the Lord. But when he got distracted by the large waves and took his eyes off Jesus, he sank. As children of God we have been given the assignment of focusing on Jesus only. No matter how loud the distractions may become, we must keep our eyes fixed on Him!

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