When I was in my teens, I was very active in our church's youth group, and I took God very seriously. But now I'm all wrapped up in my family and my career, and I hardly ever think about God. What do you think happened?


Your letter probably provides the clue to what happened: You became so concerned and preoccupied with other things that God simply got pushed aside.

I couldn’t help but think of Jesus’ parable of the seed and the sower (you can read it in the 8th chapter of Luke). In it, He told about a farmer who went out to plant seeds in his field. Some seeds fell on good soil and produced a bountiful crop, but some fell on the hard pathway, or on rocky ground, or among thorns, and never produced anything of lasting value.

This, Jesus said, is like God’s Word as it seeks to take root in our souls. When we welcome God’s Word and take steps to protect it and help it grow, it produces a harvest of faith and hope and love. But when our hearts are hard or unwelcoming, the Word of God fails to take root and our faith withers. He warned, “The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but … they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature” (Luke 8:14).

Don’t let this happen to you — or if it already has, confess it to God and ask Him to help you put Christ at the center of your life. Then welcome Him into every area of your life, and nurture the “soil” of your soul every day by praying and reading the Bible, and becoming active (with your family) in a church where Christ is preached and lived.