Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Slow Fade

I attended a concert the other night by a group called Casting Crowns. One of my favorite songs was a number entitled “Slow Fade.” The lead vocalist, Mark Hall, shared that he had written the song about several teenagers in his youth group whom he had watched go from enthusiastically following Christ to complete apathy, choosing to turn away from what they knew to be truth for the way of the world. It didn’t happen overnight, he informed us. It was a slow fade.

It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day

The journey from your mind to your hands
Is shorter than you're thinking
Be careful if you think you stand
You just might be sinking

Paul wrote about this drift towards destruction to his spiritual son, Timothy. “But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.” (1 Timothy 6:9)

Paul is writing about the progression which results in a slow fade away from God. It all begins when one sets their heart on something that is not the Lord. In this case, it is money. The slow fade starts with a look. We cast our eyes on something that turns our head away from God.

Once one's heart is set on something other than the Lord, the next step down is that those in question fall into temptation. James teaches that temptation to sin comes from within ourselves and results from being carried away by our own lusts. As we think more and more about this thing, the idea becomes an actual desire. Soon that want seems to become a need as we entertain the thought over and over in our mind. Eventually, the lust for that thing is too much for us to remain unfulfilled. And so we act. Ultimately, those actions plunge us into ruin and destruction.

Paul saw the progression. But he also knew the cure: “But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.” (1 Tim 6:11) Avoiding the slow fade is a proactive decision. As you feel yourself drifting away, the answer is to start moving in the opposite direction. Start pursuing those things which will engage your mind and actions in the ways of the Lord.

One of my favorite Connecticut memories is of an afternoon when I joined a group of young adults to go inner tubing down the Farmington River. We had a wonderful time, riding the occasional rapids with hands linked, screaming our delight as we splashed over the rocks. In other places the river was quieter, and only gently moved us along. The beauty of the sport was even if one did absolutely nothing, their tube continued to move downstream. The current was enough to carry us.

The reason that it is so easy to succumb to a slow fade is that it is the path of least resistance. We live in a world which is moving downstream, away from God toward self-destruction. If we do nothing, expend no energy toward keeping ourselves from drifting away from the Lord, we will naturally and unconsciously move in the wrong direction. Instead, we must fight the current, pursuing actively the things which He desires for us. Only then can we avoid the slow drift that will eventually lead us away from Him.

1 comment:

Christie Todd said...

I would really appreciate your input on what your top 10 fears are. I am seeking info for a book I am writing on overcoming fear.
Thank you
Christie Todd