I've recently change the layout of my blog - again. I'm pretty happy with what I have now but I know at some point I'll open it up to tinker with it and change it - again. I guess I'm like the weekend grease-head that keeps tinkering with his car. I just like tinkering with it, learning how to adjust the CSS and HTML codes, finding neat widgets created by someone else and figuring out how to best install them in my blog site. It's fun to me, the wannabe geek.
I noticed something about my behavior with my latest round of blog site updates. My interest in learning and creating started to slide from a harmless hobby, to an obsession. As it made this slide I noticed other important interests starting to slide backwards.
If you were to ask me at any point about my priorities in life over the last month I would tell you - God, family and work and not even mention any hobbies or social interests. However, looking back, I notice I was spending much more time working on my blog layout than time reading my Bible. I found my self sitting in my living room with my family but with my laptop as I tinkered. As I look back I also notice that rather than sharing my journey of seeking God on my blog, I was spending all my time on the aesthetics of my blog.
Now there is nothing wrong with hobbies. There is nothing wrong with spending time learning new things like how CSS and HTML work. What's wrong is when a hobby works it way up the priority chain in your life. The problem is when a passion becomes an obsession.
We often don't think of hobby passions as sinful. We relegate sinful passions to passions of sexual lusts. We think of hobbies as just that, hobbies. However, anything that takes priority over Godly endeavors and becomes an obsession, becomes a sin. Passion, no matter how harmless on the outside, can wreck havoc when it gets out of control and becomes an obsession.
Hobbies and passions are usually a good thing. Often, your passion is planted in you by God. That passion needs to be realized by living it out for your primary passion, the passion that Holy Spirit brings you once you believe.
The apostle Paul said it well when he tells us to keep our eye on the ultimate prize. Don't let your primary passion be distracted by anything, including your well intentioned earthly hobbies. Keep your primary passion on the eternal things, the things above, the things that will not be burned in the fire.
1 Corinthians 9:24-25 (ESV)
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.
25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.
Philippians 3:13-16 (ESV)
13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,
14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.
16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.