Luke 19:4

And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.

If you’ve ever been to the Masters or any other major tournament with Tiger Woods in contention, you have seen the massive galleries of patrons. The thousands of fans on one hole are lined up and down the ropes dozens deep. They are all trying to catch a glimpse of this generation’s golf legend. As soon he makes contact, many run to the next hole to position themselves for a closer look. Zacchaeus knew Jesus was visiting that day. He ran ahead of the vast crowd and climbed a tree to get a good look. Zacchaeus was a rich tax collector and had cheated many for his personal gain. No doubt he had heard about the teachings and miracles of Jesus. He needed to see for himself what all the fuss was about. Jesus caught eye of Zacchaeus in the tree and told him to come down immediately. He informed Zacchaeus he must stay at his house. Of course, the other people in the crowd took offense for Jesus to stay at the home of a sinner. This contact resulted in Zacchaeus repenting of his sins by offering to give half of his possessions to the poor. Sometimes we as Christians need to change our vantage point to get a closer walk with Jesus. He knows us by name and our exact location, just as he did Zacchaeus. However, we are often not cognizant of our own location. Instead of being amongst the crowd, we need to separate ourselves on occasion. We know Jesus is close and present in our lives, but we cannot fully see him because of distractions. The obstacles in our lives are things or people we allow to be there. Not everyone or everything in our lives is beneficial to our spiritual closeness to God. When we try and read scripture on our cell phone, it never fails a notification will “pop up” informing us of a text message or Facebook telling us someone “liked” our post. We then immediately direct our minds away from our study m. Often times, we have our minds other places during Sunday morning worship services. We look at the time thinking about making our 1:00 pm tee time or what has transpired during the final round of the Tour event. It takes a dedicated effort to prevent outside distractions from hindering our spiritual relationship with Christ. We must make a conscious effort to remove the “outside noise” and find a more suitable vantage point. My prayer today is to climb that sycamore tree when needed, get away from the crowd and put myself in the best position possible for a closer relationship with Jesus. “Just a closer walk with Thee. Grant it Jesus, is my plea.”

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