I Use to Be Snow White

snow drift“I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.” -Mae West

She could be the patron saint of many modern Christians. I’m familiar with the danger of drift.

When I was a little girl, we would pack a cooler with tuna sandwiches on white bread, sliced cucumbers, and Kool-Aid in a thermos to spend long, lazy days at the beach. While my mother read “Jaws” on her blanket, my brother and I would take to the sea, walking out into the surf as far as we dared and riding in wave after wave.

Mom understood the dangers of drift. She’d set her blanket next to lifeguard chair number two and warn us to align ourselves with that chair whenever we rode a wave to shore, but we were kids and didn’t appreciate drift.

After a few hours, we’d emerge from the sea and head to our blanket, only to find it nowhere in sight! Panicked, we’d wonder momentarily, if our mother had forgotten and left without us! But then, we’d hear a familiar voice calling us and we’d look back down the beach. There she’d stand waving right where we left her. The subtle force of the tide had carried us far from where we had started. We were oblivious to the tow until we emerged but by then, we were already far from where we wanted to be.

There should be signs at church “Beware of Drifting.” I drift.

Like sleeping with my eyes open, I usually drift right out in the open in full view of others. But, because I have been a Christian for so many years, I have perfected the art of looking like I am still properly moored.

The early signs of drift are subtle. My prayer life becomes inconsistent or routine. I read the Bible but don’t engage with its contents – walk away unaffected and unchanged. I show up at church but I’m thinking that I don’t like the words to that song or didn’t we sing that one last month. During the sermon I start my afternoon’s “to do” list in my head. I listen to a brother or sister and look like I care what they’re saying and I respond as though I care what they’re saying but really, I don’t care, not really.

I can sense that it’s not enough for God. (He’s so particular that way!). I try to defend myself. “That was a prayer – why can’t that be enough?” “At least I read my Bible – c’mon, I can’t get something out of it EVERY time.” “Hey, I’m here at church, that’s something, isn’t it?” “I’m acting like I care and usually I do care so don’t I have some compassion credit I can borrow against now?

And God says, “No. You’re in danger. Beware of drifting, daughter.” Suddenly I can see that I am way lifeguard-918751_640down the beach from God. He seems small and His voice very quiet. I can’t believe I didn’t see how far I had moved just by riding the tide.

And since everyone else is taking a dip in the same surf, they don’t notice either. See, I’m really good at looking like I’m awake now, even when I’m sleeping. Years of hanging with the church crowd and I know how to fake it with the best of them. I can drift and teach. I can drift and blog. I can drift and serve. I can drift and witness. And before you know it, someone asks “Whatever happened to her?” and someone answers “I don’t know, she just drifted off.”

God’s Word is like that lifeguard chair. The current of this world is so strong that daily I need to realign myself with that Word through prayerful reading, study, and obedience. In this way, it keeps me from being a victim of drift and like the lifeguard chair, prevents me from wandering off from the one I love.

Are you drifting? Beware. It’s more treacherous than the riptide because it takes you away before anyone notices – even you.

**For the amazing women of LHCC. Thank you for an incredible weekend of worship.

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4 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Lori, Thank you, God used you mightily. We were blessed to have your anointing pour over us. This story is a poignant analogy May God continue to bless you as you serve Him.

  2. Ann Knowles says:

    Lori, thank you for another God-inspired post. I have just been reading over the workshops you will be teaching at BRMCWC. I do hope I will be able to purchase the recordings. Last year I was there, but was too sick to do anything. It was a sad day to be there amidst all those opportunities for learning and not be able to participate. I didn’t even get to say hello to you. I’m sure those who did get to attend your classes were abundantly blessed. May this year’s conference be all that you hope for and all God has in store for those who attend your classes. I’ll be praying for you.

  3. I’m excited about your BRMCWC classes, too!

    Wow! Thank you for such a convicting post. I’m so good at drifting that, not only do I not recognize it, I deny it loudly if someone points it out to me. God didn’t let me deny it as I read your words. I kept saying “Ouch!” again and again. Thanks, I think.