We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what
we have heard, so that we do not drift away. (Heb 2:1)
The threat to our relationship with God is not usually a big revolt, or a conscious decision to turn away from Him. It’s the subtle drifting that happens while we’re resting our oars and just going with the flow. This often starts when we’re in relatively calm waters. We may stop to admire the view, pleased with the way life is proceeding, what we’ve achieved. We may feel that we’ve earned a rest, a little time off.
So we don’t get around to regular Scripture reading for a while, we take a break from Bible studies, don’t necessarily get to Sunday service every week, may have forgotten to pray a few times. We’ll get back to it when things settle down.
The water around us may seem calm, but there is always some current. It may gain momentum almost imperceptibly as we move along, until we become used to drifting. Then one day we find ourselves far from where we intended to go with God, with little idea of how we got there.
The writer of Hebrews warns us of the danger of drifting. It takes the most careful attention to avoid it, and that means careful attention to what we have heard. We hear from God primarily through His Word, so paying the most careful attention to Scripture is paramount if we want to avoid drifting.
Reading, considering, and applying God’s Word to our daily lives is a priority if we are to pay the most careful attention. It means the difference between going forward to a meaningful destination, or just drifting aimlessly wherever what’s happening around us takes us.
The longer we drift, the more normal drifting becomes. The farther we drift, the harder it is to row back and start again.
When we find ourselves at the mercy of the swirling currents around us and feel like we’re just going around in circles, it may be a heads-up that we’ve been in “drift mode,” and it’s time to pay more careful attention to our relationship with God.