There was a new girl at school, and in our relatively small school, that was big enough news in itself. But there was a twist to this news which made my first few days at school very interesting.
"The new girl looks just like you!" It seemed as if I heard that comment from just about everyone, yet it was several days before I had an opportunity to meet "the new girl" for myself.
When I saw her, I was almost disappointed. I was expecting a mirror image. We did have the same hair color and of roughly the same style. We both had big, dark brown eyes. We were about the same height, and like every other girl in our school, we wore the same uniform. Other than that, we agreed that we didn't really look too much alike. Everyone else seemed to think we did, though.
Janet was a sweet girl, and I didn't mind sharing my "identity" with her too much. We joked about it even though neither of us saw the resemblance. When next to each other, our differences were more obvious than the similarities.
The Apostle Paul speaks to the Corinthians of one preaching "another Jesus" and of "another spirit" and of "another gospel." Sometimes I wonder what are those things in my own life which are the "anothers." I don't mean false teachers and false prophets. . .those are often easy to spot. I mean those "anothers" which distract and pull us away from our real priorities. They don't have to be wrong things in and of themselves --in fact, they may be very good things-- they may just be things that divide us from what the Lord may really be intending for us in that moment.
Each of us probably has our own set of "anothers." I for one, am a political junkie. I could read the news all day. I love my Twitter feed, and I love pouring over news sites online. I once had a political blog but had to stop it because it sapped so much time and energy away from those things which were much more important. It is clearly one of those "anothers" to me.
For some, crafts may be an example of an "another." For some, as good and well-intentioned as it seems, exercise may be one of those "anothers." Literature, music or television could be one for someone else.
I am not saying that these things are bad, or dangerous. But each of us has some area where we can be pulled to spend too much time, too much energy, too much excitement, when the Lord would have preferred that we spend that time praying, reading the Bible, caring for someone else, or doing something else He has led us to do.
Let us be so familiar with the real thing, that the "anothers" stand out in stark contrast. Let us guard our time wisely so we are certain to be good stewards of this precious gift we have been given. As our dear friend Larry says, "Let us keep the first thing the first thing and the main thing the main thing."