I often wonder what would happen if we invested as much energy in doing the things we talk about as we do thinking about them. Now, there is nothing wrong with thinking. I am a thinker. I literally am thinking all of the time. I think about details and curiosities and questions constantly. But, I often ask myself, “are you just going to think about this or are you going to do something about it?”
The trouble with thinking is that at times it is the thing that gets in the way of acting. Its a delicate balance really. All idea and philosophy and no action is almost always fruitless and all action and no thought, idea or philosophy is often dangerous and foolish.
The truth is, it’s easier to think. It is easier to be the inspirational voice prompting people to get up and to engage the world around them. It’s easy to talk about various ways of engagement. It’s easier to talk about peace making, bridge building and the like, but it is quite difficult to put all these grand ideas into action.
I am becoming increasingly tired of conversations on the right and wrong way to “do” church or the right or wrong way to love others or even the right or wrong way to share the reason for the hope that is within those who follow Jesus. These conversations often lead to intellectual pride, practical divisions, and inactivity. I am guilty of each of those. I have very strong opinions about best practices, theological frameworks, sharing faith and loving others. I have to keep those in check or I will slip easily into judgement, arrogance, and practice laziness. The church gathered is in an interesting place here in the US. I watch as pastors try to come up with the best way to go about various things and are panicked that there are more people leaving the gathered church than flocking to it. As a result individual pastors have formed best practices that they’ve come to worship as much if not more than Jesus. I will hear pastors talk about how their church does church differently, other pastors cling to tradition, others arrogantly shame other churches for their ideas and worship practices.
I long for people who love Jesus, love their neighbors with action, people who think about how to best and honestly and holistically be and bring gospel to cities, neighborhoods, countries and individuals and do as they think. I long for people who don’t just say “LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR!” but people who model loving in practical ways and invite others to practice loving others alongside them. I long for others who see all people as living breathing expressions of the image of God and not as projects, objects of judgment or inconveniences. I long for people to love Jesus. I mean really really love him. People who love Jesus so deeply that they know His way and therefore, living out ideas and serving and loving others is as easy as breathing.
Today, wherever you are and with whomever you find yourself, do something to bring the beauty of the Life of Jesus and display the great love of Jesus. If you don’t know what to do, pray and ask God to show you how to love or what to do. Whatever comes to mind, do it, (as long as it is congruent with good of course) Does nothing come to mind? Text a friend who is an idea person and ask for help. Today I implore you to act. I’m going to go put some life on these words as I have another hour before my flight takes off. Who knows maybe I’ll get to love the person next to me on my flight? The options are endless. I’ll let you know how it goes!