I am saying this so that no one may deceive you with plausible arguments. (Colossians 1:4 NRSV)
John Steinbeck earned a Pulitzer Prize in 1940 with his book, THE GRAPES OF WRATH. Tom Joad is the main character in his book. Tom's Grandpa homesteaded a farm out on the prairies. He broke the sod. He worked the land. He raised his family. And when he died, Tom's Pa took over. The land was good. God blessed his efforts. And all was right in the world. But then the bad years came. The rains stayed in the clouds. The grasshoppers ate their fill. The winds battered the tender shoots of grain. And one by one, the farmers went bankrupt. First they borrowed a little money, just to feed the family. Then they couldn't pay it back. And finally the sheriff came out, and told them to get off the land; it wasn't theirs anymore! But whose land was it? Well, it belonged to the bank. So they went to the bank. "I'm sorry," said the bank manager. "I can't help you. You see, I only administer the bank." So they go to the Board of Directors. "We're sorry," say the Board of Directors. "We'd like to help you, but our hands are tied! The shareholders, you see....They're the one's who tell us what to do." And who are the shareholders? A thousand faceless people, all over the country. And Tom Joad's father wants to hit somebody. He wants to punch somebody in the face. But nobody's to blame. There's a monster that controls everything. And nobody can help it. And nobody knows what to do. And nobody seems to hear when the preacher prays and the baby cries.

That's where we all live, most of the time. And Paul knows that. At the beginning of Chapter 2, he says life is a struggle for him. He says he struggles to get people to see the mystery of God in Jesus Christ. He says people love to follow fine-sounding arguments, and run after the latest fad.

What fads in our lives are keeping us from being closer to God?

Dear God, remind me today to not lose my focus of being close to your love. Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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