How alert are you? Do you regularly observe what is going on around you? Are you of sober mind? Do you periodically take a step back to view the big picture? Have you taken time to view the events on earth in relation to eternity?
We can be distracted in any number of ways. Our attention may be turned to an immediate task at work. We may experience a family emergency. We may be distracted by friends. Even if we attempt to see the big picture, it may turn out to be only of intermediate size.
We know we must focus on what is directly in front of us at times. It may be homework, work tasks, family events, or even simply driving down the road. Yet, while we focus on those in the moment, we are also told to be alert and sober in our thinking.
I can remember being taught while in the Marine Corps to always be alert and aware of my surroundings. That included observing movement in my peripheral vision. It meant to be ready to react on a moment’s notice. It meant identifying potential dangers, even if I were merely in a convenience store.
The Apostle Peter is speaking of both the immediate moment and the eternal picture. When he is talking of being sober, he is referencing thinking clearly and focusing on the long-term plan. He encourages us to focus on our hope and the grace of God. He cautions us to forgo or reject following the evil desires of this world. He even states that when we have been introduced to Jesus we no longer live in ignorance.
Peter continues by quoting from Leviticus 11:44, 45 stating we are to be holy because God is holy. Why? Because God has called each one of us. Part of his call is for us to be holy, to be imitators of him. To be holy we must focus on him and his plan.
I pray we all focus on God. I pray we are attentive to God’s plan. I pray each one of us remains alert and of sober mind, focused on the long-term plan and not fooled by evil. Be alert. Be of sober mind. Focus on God. Think about the big picture. Look beyond yourself. Do not fall prey to evil temptations.
1 Peter 1:13-16 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”