Chan starts this section with a rather frightening statistic: The average Christian in the United States spends ten minutes per day with God; meanwhile, the average American spends over four hours a day watching television.
But, for those of you getting a little 'big for your britches' because you don't watch television...or, as in my case, you don't even have one... not to worry, Chan doesn't let you off the hook. He goes on to say: "Perhaps TV is not your thing-maybe you don't even own one. But how about your time and your resources? How much of your money is spent on yourself, and how much is directed toward God's kingdom? How much of your time is dedicated to pursuing your life and your goals, and how much is focused on God's work and purpose?" p 145.
For me, this one characteristic of being obsessed sums up the difference between "doing the Christian thing" and being a Christian... it's the difference between going to some building on Sunday morning, hearing a really inspiring sermon (or not so inspiring sermon) and then leaving only to return to your "not-so-Christian" existence the other six days of the week... and the opposite...living a life that is truly inspired, God-centered and purposeful, everyday of the week.
So, what does the latter look like? Well, Chan's characterization is this:
"People who are obsessed with God have an intimate relationship with Him. They are nourished by God's Word throughout the day because they know that forty minutes on Sunday is not enough to sustain them for a whole week, especially when they will encounter distractions and alternative messages." p. 145. (emphasis added)
I LOVE the last part of this, the somewhat sanitized notion of "distractions and alternative messages." I can't help but think of my memory verse for the remainder of this month:
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. " James 1:27 (emphasis added)
This scripture falls right in line with Chan's characterization. Our job, as Christians, is to make sure that we don't become "polluted" with the "distractions and alternative messages" of this world. The best way to do this is to be rooted in Him... His Word, His music, His fellowship. Yes, we are to go out into the world and make disciples of men, (and not stay hidden within the safety of our houses, our churches or insulated by a "cushiony" group of fellow Christians.) But, if we don't stay rooted in Him, we can become easily distracted... or worse, loose sight of Him.
But of all the things that have been mentioned here, I think this is the most important: It doesn't matter who you are, or where you are in your faith. You could be a new believer just trying to "learn the ropes," a long-time Christian that has truly walked with the Lord, or a devoted and beloved pastor... we are ALL at risk of complacency, maybe not loosing sight of God as much as being distracted by this world. Look around, literally and figuratively... what and who are you surrounded by... ARE YOU DISTRACTED?????
Take inventory of your distractions... literally make a list. Then, figure out a way to start marking them off! Sounds simple... but let me assure you, it can be pretty difficult. If you're not sure what your specific distractions might be... ask God to reveal them to you.