Drifting away means I am not paying attention to the landmarks on shore - the firm and unchanging truth.
~ Perhaps I am too caught up in what is directly around me to keep my sights on the unchanging part - too much fun, work, responsibility, etc.
~Maybe I am caught in an undertow of sin (mine or someone else's) which is slowly, steadily moving me away from the plumb line of God.
~Possibly, I am just resting, relaxing in the goodness of the warm sun (good life and warm relationships), the waves' gentle motions (ebb and flow of life) and beach sounds (general hub-bub in the dailyness of life) and fail to notice my subtle movement away from the point of safety, (I am no longer centered on Christ).
I suppose the reason for drifting doesn't really matter as the effect is the same; I have slipped away. My lack of vigilance has ushered me to a place I don't want to be, a place beyond safety, and I may not even notice.
Neglect defined from Webster's 1828 Dictionary -
To omit by carelessness or design; to forbear to do, use, employ,
promote or attend to
One interesting entry, for an older usage, means to postpone.
In the context of an unbeliever, I can follow this warning about neglecting the gift of salvation...fail to receive, postpone it, not respond to it.
As a believer in Christ Jesus, I know I am saved by faith...I can do nothing to change that - as I have done nothing to acquire, deserve, earn or make it. I didn't do it, I can't undo it.
Yet, I can disregard or not take care of the gift of grace. I can put it off or not employ it...I can not take care of it, pay it no attention.
Or can I? If I am truly saved, can I really experience that habitual lack of regard for the gift of salvation? Shouldn't this make me question the veracity of my salvation rather than my passion?
If we look around, maybe look within, we see that the lack of regard does happen...it happens all the time. So, what does that mean?
A most sobering experience is to examine ourselves to make sure we are in the faith. As we look to see how the "regard-meter" reads for the gift of salvation, do we see a consistent reading of "highly regarded"? Or is the display set on "passive" or "when convenient"?
This is serious. Maybe the part in the Word where the believers are called "a remnant" truly means just a portion...not part of the main; but the remaining. Perhaps the remnant is a lot smaller than we want to believe. And we are too relaxed or have drifted too far to even think such thoughts...that maybe, we are not part of the remnant.
One question that plagues me, is if all the converts in the first century had been like me, what would the church look like today?