Sucked In

I was watching a fascinating video this morning that not only caught my attention but also caused me to pause and reflect.

To watch the video click on this link:

If the link doesn’t work you can go to and search for 8/21/13 Slough In created by assumptionla.

3 minutes and 12 seconds of video – it is an update on a 24+ acre sinkhole in Assumption Parish, LA and it keeps growing.  It is literally sucking into the earth everything on its edges.  Once caught in the vortex to the sinkhole things once living are trapped forever into darkness and demise.

So what was I reflecting on?  The things that we allow to become “sinkholes” in our own lives and souls.  Let’s try on a couple of examples and see if any of them spark a similar thought or resonance.

An interpersonal relationship with someone who is not healthy – as a matter of fact it is toxic and it is dragging you down.  You find yourself caught in the grip of this relationship and even though you would like to get out of it and know you should, you still hang onto the edges of it – what happens when you finally get sucked into the dark depths that you will not be able to recover from?

You have a habit that you know is potentially destructive to your health or your relationships but you can’t change.  Drinking, addiction to legal or illegal drugs, pornography, violent behavior…these are some of the habits that are sinkholes which if given absolute power over our lives would destroy us to the core and everything around us.  But we like hanging around the edges of it – what happens when you finally get sucked into the dark depths that you will not be able to recover from?

Need I continue with more examples?  I think we get the picture – life is filled with habits, attitudes and actions that could suck us into the depths of sin and destruction.  We could lose our life, our love, and our soul.

So what is the answer?

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”  (Proverbs 4:23, NLT)

The wisdom writer uses a short and simple sentence to describe a complex way of life.  What does it mean to guard your heart?

Simply, it means to fill your life with things that are healthy instead of things that are unhealthy.  In the real sense we know the need to eat better, to exercise consistently, and to get adequate rest – that is a way to literally protect your heart.  The writer is speaking metaphorically about the spiritual practices that are needed to draw us into the light and life of God’s love and grace instead of the darkness that will rob us of our life.  Here are some tangible ones:

Prayer – daily conversation with God that is sharing and listening.

Scripture – making room for the words of God to sink into your heart, mind and soul.

Meditation – on the things of God; not the things of this world.

Mission – keeping our hands busy with meaningful work that contributes to the emerging kingdom of God.

Community – hanging out with people who will build you up in the faith so that your journey might draw you closer to the heart of God.

These are some of the practices along with many others that are disciplines and routines that will draw us to the safe shores of life in God.

Nobody intends to get sucked in to the utter darkness of sin.  But when you play on the edges long enough, you are bound to be a part of the “slough in” to that place you will never recover from.

So stop playing on edges!  Start a new habit or discipline that will draw you closer to God.  Reinvigorate a practice that is good for you spiritually and physically.  Get sucked in to the goodness of God’s steadfast love and faithfulness; get sucked in to life that is now and yet to come!

Blessings for the journey!

About Jim Hoffman

Pastor, teacher, leader, novice blogger, wanna be author and Christian conversationalist. Passionate about environmental architecture - creating spaces where people can foster new or growing relationships with each other and God. Currently leads a faith community on Ward Parkway in Kansas City and happily married to Margaret. Blessed with four adult children and two grandsons.
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One Response to Sucked In

  1. Pingback: From the Pastor’s Desk 8.22.13 | St Johns UMC

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