It is difficult to think of being a ‘drifter’ in a positive way (with the possible exception of the Drifter chocolate bar which I remember being delicious). My dictionary tells me that ‘to drift’ is “to be carried; (to) move passively, casually or aimlessly” and that a ‘drifter’ is an “aimless person”. It is clearly not something to aspire to! It is what happens to boats when they are not moored securely; they drift away until eventually they are lost altogether.
Spiritual drift is also a serious thing, which the writer to the Hebrews warns his readers against: “We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away” (2:1). The thing is, it is easy to drift away. A boat will drift if it is not moored. All we have to do is… nothing. We simply stop paying attention to what we have heard. We simply “ignore so great a salvation” (verse 3). We stop reading our Bibles where we hear of this great salvation; we stop praying to the God who achieved this great salvation; we stop meeting with those who enjoy this great salvation. Simples.
Nobody sets their mind to be a drifter. It just happens. And it happens imperceptibly. What does it matter if the boat is a centimetre from the quay? It matters terribly if it is a kilometre away. So, brothers and sisters, let us pay the most careful attention to what we have heard and make sure we do not neglect so great a salvation. It is great, and there is no other.
Your brother in Christ,
Chris Hobbs (Senior Minister/Vicar)