Get on track and stay there!

A man bought a new hunting dog. Eager to see how he would perform, he took him to track a
bear. No sooner had they gotten into the woods than the dog picked up the trail. Suddenly he
stopped, sniffed the ground, and headed in a new direction. He had caught the scent of a deer
that had crossed the bear’s path. A few moments later, he halted again, this time smelling a
raccoon that had crossed the path of the deer. Then a turkey, a rabbit, and so on, until finally
the breathless hunter caught up with his dog, only to find him barking triumphantly down the
hole of a field mouse.

One of the things for which Paul prayed was for his brethren in Colossae to be able to “approve
the things that are excellent” (Phil. 1:10). He used a word that was common among
metallurgists. As they tested the quality of metal, they “approved” in the metal that which was
good or evil. That is not always easy. Easy or not, it is the thing responsible Christians must

Our faith gets involved in this. We should test the excellency of our personal faith. Peter
informed his readers that “for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials”
but also told them how beneficial such would be. He concluded that “Your faith, which is more
precious than gold in the world may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory, and
honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:6-7). The word “proved” here is the same as in
Col. 1:10.

Often Christians start out with high resolve, putting the kingdom of God first in their lives, but
their attention is soon diverted to things of lesser worth. One pursuit leads to another until
they’ve strayed far from their original purpose. Let us do our best to put first things first. So,
take the divine admonition and stay on track and let nothing cause you to deviate from the
straight and narrow way.